Palestinian farmer left hospitalised after Israeli settler attack
A Palestinian farmer was attacked by an armed Israeli settler whilst tending his land in the occupied West Bank.
The settler, who is also the security guard of the illegal Yitzhar settlement, is accused of attacking farmer Usama Hamdan, leaving him with bruises so severe it landed him in hospital.
The attack happened in the Asira Al-Qiblya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
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: 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.
"Settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation. Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinians casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property," said Israeli rights Group B'Tselem.
"In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort or even join in the attacks. Investigations, if even opened, are usually closed with no action taken against perpetrators as part of an undeclared policy of leniency. The long-term effect of this violence is the dispossession of Palestinians from increasing parts of the West Bank, making it easier for Israel to take over land and resources," they added.