Israeli settlers damage Palestinian land and vandalise homes in West Bank

Israeli settlers damage Palestinian land and vandalise homes in West Bank
Israeli settlers have carried out widespread attacks on Palestinian homes, vehicles, farmland and hospitals across the occupied West Bank.
3 min read
04 January, 2021
Israeli troops also launched a raid on a Palestinian hospital [Getty]
Israeli settlers launched a wave of separate attacks on Palestinian property in the occupied West Bank on Monday, with cars, homes and farmland vandalised, according to local media.

Israeli settlers on Monday morning damaged Palestinian vehicles and homes in Sarta village, close to the West Bank city of Salfit.

Local sources said a group of settlers threw stones at several houses and cars, while slashing the tyres of other vehicles in the village.

Another group of settlers threw rocks at vehicles with Palestinian registration plates travelling along Road 465, north of Ramallah.

Israeli settlers also reportedly uprooted Palestinian farmland in Khirbet Al-Farisiya in the northern Jordan Valley.

Aref Daraghmeh, a local Palestinian activist, told the Palestinian Authority's (PA) official news agency WAFA that settlers used bulldozers to level large areas of agricultural land, owned by local Palestinians, in Al-Farisiya.

The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile strip of land running west along the Jordan River, is home to about 65,000 Palestinians and makes up approximately 30 percent of the West Bank.

Overnight on Monday, Israeli forces attacked a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem by storming the centre and fired "concussion grenades" into the hospital.

Director of the Thabet Government Hospital, Haitham Shadeed, told WAFA that he and the medical staff were left shocked when Israeli forces raided the hospital courtyard and the Outpatient Clinics Section's waiting room at 3:30am.

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The raid, he said, spread fear and panic among the medical staff and patients, especially children and elderly patients.

On Sunday evening, Palestinian villagers fended off a settler attack in Wadi Fukin village, to the west of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Mustafa Sukkar, a local resident, told WAFA that dozens of Israeli settlers attempted to raid farmland in the Al-Miswana area, owned by his family and located between Wadi Fukin, Al-Jabaa and Nahalin villages.

The villagers were fended them off and forced the settlers to leave the scene.

Sukkar said that the settlers were attempting to damage agricultural land and uproot trees as part of a campaign to establish a new settlement outpost.

He added that the settlers retreated to the surrounding hills, but did not leave the area. This had raised fears in the Palestinian villages of a new impending attack.

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three zones: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Attacks by Israeli settlers on the local Palestinian population in the West Bank are common, added to the stifling conditions of the occupation.

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