Palestinian Authority urges international community to halt Israeli settler violence in West Bank

Palestinian Authority urges international community to halt Israeli settler violence in West Bank
Palestinian officials are calling on the international community to contribute in combatting harmful settler violence in the occupied territories, which occur frequently in the West Bank.
2 min read
02 July, 2023
Israeli settlers often harass and attack Palestinian people and properties as they rampage in the West Bank [Getty]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has urged the international community to increase pressure on Israel in dismantling organised settler militias, local media reported on Saturday.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that militias were formed in the occupied West Bank, and were operated with the support of the Israeli army and ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian officials are also urging a clamp down on financial funding for such militias in the wake of a surge in settler attacks in recent months in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian official Wafa website reported.

"We have repeatedly warned against the occupying Israeli state forming pockets of armed terror settler militias in the West Bank, and against the influence and dangers of these militias expanding their attacks on defenceless Palestinian civilians, their homes and properties," the foreign ministry stated.

"The Israeli government is responsible for the settler terrorism, its ministers support and encourage the settlers. The only way to stop the attacks is by having international troops in the West Bank," the statement said. 

The PA said it had proposed the idea of an international force in the occupied territories where settler violence was rampant, in a bid to protect Palestinians from such attacks, according to the Israeli Jerusalem Post daily.

PA officials said that the proposal was brought to the attention of the European Union and United Nations officials.

The idea was reportedly backed by some EU and Arab states, an official said, as cited by the Israeli website.

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The same official reiterated the need for such protection in the impacted territories and said that such tasked forces can be "formed" by the UN.

The PA’s request comes as Israeli settlers carried out attacks in the Palestinian villages of Turmus Ayya and Umm Safa last week.

Settlers shot at many homes and even set some alight, while a paramedic transporting a patient was shot and wounded in the incident.

Cars and other properties were also set ablaze in the attack that was said to be in retaliation for the killing of four Israelis in the illegal settlement of Eli.

The Hamas group, who controls the besieged Gaza Strip, said the attack was carried out in revenge for a deadly raid in Jenin which killed six Palestinians the previous day.

Settler attacks in Palestinian territories occur regularly, in which perpetrators attack, harass and intimidate Palestinians. Such assaults have increased under Netanyahu’s far-right cabinet, which came into power late last year.