Palestinian rights NGO calls on world to hold Israel ‘accountable’ after Hawara settler rampage

Palestinian rights NGO calls on world to hold Israel ‘accountable’ after Hawara settler rampage
The Palestinian rights group Al-Haq said that concrete steps needed to be taken against Israel for the settler violence in Hawara.
2 min read
01 March, 2023
Israeli settlers stormed and torched swathes of the West Bank town of Hawara from Sunday [Matan Golan/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty]

A Palestinian human rights group has urged the international community to hold Israel accountable after settlers devastated the occupied West Bank town of Hawara in two days of violence.

One Palestinian was killed and several hundred injured after settlers seeking revenge for the shooting of two Israelis began storming and torching Hawara, close to the city of Nablus, from Sunday.

The settlers were aided in their rampage by Israeli security forces, who closed off entrances to Hawara but allowed hundreds of settlers in while barring entry to medics and journalists.

Extreme-right members of the Israeli parliament have said that the Palestinian town should be destroyed.

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The European Union, the US and others have issued statements condemning the settler violence in Hawara — but rights group Al-Haq said on Wednesday that more concrete steps needed to be taken against Israel.

"In light of the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground, Al-Haq reiterates the need for urgent, effective, and meaningful accountability measures to ensure an end to Israel’s unlawfully-enjoyed culture of impunity, illegal occupation, and settler-colonial apartheid regime, and the realisation of the Palestinian people to their right to self-determination," read a statement from the group.

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Among Al-Haq’s 11-point list of demands was a call for "third states, regional organisations, and the UN Security Council to match statements of condemnation with arms embargoes, economic sanctions and countermeasures against Israel; and targeted individual sanctions against Israeli settlers and Israeli settler organisations".

It also asked that "third state parties to the International Arms Trade Treaty to examine and cease the trade and export to Israel of arms used in breach of international law".

Violence in Hawara comes amid one of the deadliest spells of Israeli aggression in the West Bank in recent memory.

More than 60 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israel since the start of 2023, according to official figures.

Last year was the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem facing Israeli state violence since 2005, with around 150 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in those territories.