Israeli military raids and settlers attacks escalate in occupied West Bank

Israeli military raids and settlers attacks escalate in occupied West Bank
3 min read
West Bank
18 July, 2023
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians near Hebron and Ramallah, as Israeli forces arrested 17 Palestinians between Monday and Tuesday amidst an ongoing violent Israeli escalation in the occupied West Bank.
Confrontations were reported between Palestinians and Israeli forces during military raids in Jericho and near Nablus.[Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

On Monday, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian farm east of Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank, destroying dozens of crops. The farm owner told Palestinian media that settlers destroyed 150 grape vines days before harvest and wrote racist tags on the walls.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club reported that Israeli forces arrested 17 Palestinians overnight from across the occupied West Bank and conducted field interrogations after raiding 16 homes in Burqa, west of Nablus.

Israeli forces raids and settlers' attacks on Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank have continued since last weekend, as confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian residents erupted in several areas.

In Jericho, Israeli forces raided the refugee camp of Aqbat Jabr on Monday before dawn and arrested two Palestinians, residents told The New Arab.

"The occupation entered the camp around 3:00 am and terrorized residents by throwing stun grenades and firing shots that woke people up", Um Fares, a member of the local women association, described to TNA.

"The occupation soldiers' attitude, as always, provoked young men who came out to confront them with stones, but fortunately, there were no casualties or injuries this time", said Um Fares. "The occupation arrested two young men, and then they left", she pointed out.

"People in Aqbat Jabr are frustrated with so many repeated raids on the camp", noted Um Fares. "We try to go by our lives as usual, but the general atmosphere is always tense", she added.

Aqbat Jabr has become one of several target points of concentrated Israeli military raids since last year. Israeli forces have killed nine Palestinians in the camp since the beginning of the year.

Earlier during the night, Israeli settlers attacked the town of Beiteen at the northern entrance of Ramallah, damaging several Palestinian cars.

"Settlers rampaged through the street in Beiteen, to the point cars couldn't cross through the town", Abdel Halim Ajaj, a public van driver, said to TNA upon arriving through Beiteen to Ramallah's northern bus station.

"Settlers also attacked cars on the road just outside Ramallah with stones, right in front of the occupation army who just stood there and watched", he described.

"This has been happening more often in recent months, where a few settler youngsters block an entire road and disrupt the circulation in and out of the city, and they feel like they can do it because they have the army right behind them", he added.

According to local sources, settler attacks were also reported in occupied East Jerusalem, in Qalqilya, and in the village of Hussan, where Israeli settlers injured a Palestinian woman while attacking crops outside the village.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli forces have been escalating raids on Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank for more than a year, claiming the lives of 205 Palestinians in 2023 alone.