Palestinians defend villages as settler violence skyrockets in occupied West Bank
Protests and clashes took place in villages across the West Bank on Sunday evening and Monday, in response to repeated settler attacks and raids on Palestinian communities, particularly in the town of Burqa near Nablus.
Israeli soldiers and settlers fired live ammunition, tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber coated bullets against Palestinian protesters, who threw rocks and burnt tires in response.
On Sunday night, in solidarity with the residents of Burqa, Palestinian activists and protesters blocked the road between Qalqilya and Nablus, setting an abandoned car on fire, local sources confirmed to The New Arab's Arabic-language service, with clashes also taking place in Kufr Qaddoum and Azzun as well as in the Jalazon refugee camp north of Ramallah.
More than 240 Palestinians have been injured in this latest wave of violence according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Reading about and watching videos of relentless Israeli settler violence, I can’t help but wonder if mine is the same fear and sense of foreboding that my grandparents lived through pre 1948. https://t.co/M1gBp1BB6p— Tareq Baconi طارق بقعوني (@TareqBaconi) December 26, 2021
Illegal outpost of Homesh
Burqa, where the illegal settlement of Homesh was formally evacuated in 2005, has become the scene of the most frequent violence in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.
Extremist settler groups have been calling for the settlement, which was built illegally on Burqa village land, to be repopulated.
Last week, thousands of Israelis gathered at the edge of Homesh to mark the killing of a settler Yehudah Dimentman who was shot in the area earlier this month, reportedly by Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.
On Thursday night, mobs of settlers descended from the outpost, vandalising a Palestinian cemetery before moving onto the village of Burqa itself. Local residents say settlers threw rocks and attempted to break into people’s homes, telling reporters that this level of settler violence is ‘something new’.
At the end of the settlers march in #Homesh, a group of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian houses at the #westbank village of Burqa injuring at least one man, a few graves at the local cemetery were vandalized (photo credit:Burqa council) pic.twitter.com/BvQg0s3iu1— Oren Ziv (@OrenZiv1985) December 23, 2021
There are approximately 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.
Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories are considered illegal.