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Report: Last five years has seen a 315% rise in settler violence; this violence is ‘structural and symptomatic of occupation’

on 14 Comments

Yesterday, the Palestine Center released “When Settlers Attack,” a new report on settler violence in the occupied territories. Is is the result of of a two-year project which cataloged over 3,700 instances of settler violence from 2004-2011.

From the report’s Executive Summary:

  • Israeli settler violence presents a direct and consistent threat to Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied West Bank and instances of Israeli settler violence are on the rise.
  • From 2010 to 2011 there was a 39 percent increase in incidents of Israel Settler violence. In the five year period from 2007 through 2011 there has been a 315 percent increase. Conversely, over the same 5-year period, there has been a 95 percent decrease in Palestinian violence in the West Bank.
  • There is a noticeable shift in the proportion of violence as it occurs geographically in the West Bank. In the past, the southern part of the West Bank saw the largest number of instances but in recent years the northern part of the West Bank is becoming increasingly targeted and has overtaken the southern part of the West Bank in terms of number of attacks.
  • The period of the olive harvest annually brings a peak in violent settler activity. The presence of Palestinian civilians in olive groves, where they are easy targets for unrestrained and violent Israeli settlers, is the main reason why this occurs on an annual basis.
  • There is a noticeable increase in the frequency and proportion of arson attacks employed by violent settlers. This suggests that violent settlers are increasingly choosing this method of violence and will continue to do so. The percentage of arson among all attack types in 2005 was 6 percent and has risen to 11 percent in 2011.
  • While minimal variation in Israeli settler violence over time can be explained as a response to Israeli state actions against settlements, like the dismantlement of outposts, the vast majority of Israeli settler violence is not responsorial but rather structural and symptomatic of occupation.
  • Over 90 percent of all Palestinian villages which have experienced multiple instances of Israeli settler violence are in areas which fall under Israeli security jurisdiction

Here is the full report:

When Settlers Attack

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14 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    February 15, 2012, 9:54 am

    Someone should just explain to the settlers that their actions are illegal – im sure they will stop…..

  2. seafoid
    February 15, 2012, 9:56 am

    settler violence

    against Jews

    the cancer of the occupation

    the mentality

    We are not isolating ourselves but instructing the world and our immediate neighbors that that sacred right is not a myth. It is not fancifal or fake. It is real. It comes out of the ground we dig, and out of our minds and hearts. It is who we are as Jews. Isolated or not, that is the truth and truth is as sacred as our beliefs.

    The Jewish people possess not only a right, but a heritage, a legacy. It is religious, cultural, historical and legal.

  3. seafoid
    February 15, 2012, 10:05 am

    “Israeli security” is an oxymoron

    Bibi is a moron.

  4. piotr
    February 15, 2012, 2:09 pm

    I read more than once that Israel is the place where Jews can be “living the fullest Zionist experience possible.” In the context suggesting that this is “a good thing”.

    The idea of having “the fullest experience possible” somehow rings a bell. One matching context is what some red light districts offer. A bit more wholesome context comes from “extreme sports”. In “extreme sports” advances in equipment and technique learned by the practitioners often move the bar of “the fullest, most extreme”. Religions have divers “extreme sport” versions. For example, Hinduist experience can incorporate a mastery of yoga and mental techniques, a version that can be practiced only by a few, or finding the very spot where Lord Rama was born and cleansing it from infidel impurities, something that could be practiced by people from all walks of life, but only once.

    Why people engage in extreme versions of sports, ideologies and religions? Perhaps a combination of two factors: the experience itself, and the adulation from the lesser practitioners.

    My impression is that “price tag” is a sub-discipline in “extreme Zionism”, or “fullest Zionist experience”. Confusingly, there is also “fullest Haredi experience” with practitioners among anti-Zionist Jews who nevertheless have to go to Israel, as in the Exile the “full experience” may be impossible.

    Concerning the settlers, I have read that “they live beautiful life”, exactly “fuller experience”, and if we go in that direction, how to make it yet fuller? I can think of only few ways. First, we can achieve extreme proximity with a selected site of utmost importance to Jewish religion or tradition. Second, simple quality of the dwelling, landscaping, and security arrangements, which kind of makes it like fullest experience in living in a gated community in Arizona, but soooo Zionist. And you can also have a golf course, shopping mall, theater and a university if you got to an extreme. Third, the actual fight with Evil, cleansing the land from the impure etc. One can try that in Arizona too, after a fashion, joining citizen patrols trying to catch Latino infiltrators, but this not Zionist.

    One type of fullest Zionist experience do not require to actually live there, although you should have several of your properties in Israel. You can have you own influential Zionist think tank, or a “time share”, or a museum, a university building etc. A step up, you own an influential Israeli party, preferably with a minister. A step up, you own the Prime Minister. A step up, you also own American President. A step up, all other Zionist business tycoons prostrate themselves and chant “O mighty one” whenever you enter the room. A step up … [one step at the time, OK?]

  5. Kurt
    February 15, 2012, 3:57 pm

    On this note, fresh from (in Swedish, polished Google Translate follows):

    Swedish Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Björklund attacked
    by aggressive settlers in Hebron

    Jan Björklund (Liberal) was attacked today during an official visit to Hebron.

    – It was a very aggressive settler who tried to attack Mr Björklund, says Anders Andrén, press officer to the education minister.

    Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Björklund (Liberal) is currently on official visit to Israel and Palestine. Today, the Swedish delegation was forced to flee during a tour of the settlements in Hebron in the West Bank.

    – A very aggressive settler tried to attack Mr Björklund and his bodyguards from the Swedish Security Police had to intervene, there was a scuffle, says Björklund’s press officer Anders Andrén.

    No serious injuries

    According to him, no “serious damage” occured in the quarrel that led the Israeli military to cancel the visit.

    – The settlers were aggressive, so the military decided it was not safe. We left the place quickly after that, says Anders Andrén.

    The Security Police will not comment on the incident further and would not say whether the assailant was arrested after the incident.

    – It was not dramatic, and all left the area soon afterward, says Sirpa Franzén, Press Officer at the Security Police.

    Anders Andrén describes the mood of the settlers as very tense.

    – It is always uncomfortable with such a violent situation that you can not control. It was a harrowing experience, he says.

    The purpose of creating a dialogue

    The Minister of Education was in Hebron with the organization Temporary Presence in Hebron (TIPH) supported by the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

    TIPH is in place to report and observe “breaches of the agreement Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed on the situation in Hebron.”

    The aim is to create a dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli settlers in the area.

    After the attack and the interrupted visit, Jan Björklund’s schedule remains unchanged.

    – Tomorrow, he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Anders Andrén.

    During his trip to Israel and Palestine, Bjorklund has already met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and made visits to universities and research institutions.

    • Kurt
      February 15, 2012, 4:02 pm

      I could add that Mr Björklund was a significant factor in the political play behind the Swedish no vote on the Unesco membership.

    • annie
      February 15, 2012, 10:57 pm

      kurt, i received an email recently about hebron..w/3 videos
      Report: Under Attack: Golani Brigade’s war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khalil (Hebron)

      Since the arrival of the Golani Brigade in Hebron on December 27th, international accompaniment organizations (Christian Peacemaker Teams, International Solidarity Movement, and others) have documented an increase in the number of serious human rights violations against the Palestinian people, particularly youth and children in the Old City and Tel Rumeida.

      All recorded incidences have been documented through first-hand observation and/or the victims’ testimony. The following report demonstrates a sharp increase in harassment, violence, and human rights violations by the Israeli military towards the Palestinian population of Hebron. Contrary to given justifications, none of those involved were observed to voice or pose any threat to the soldiers. As the Golani Brigade is expected to remain in Hebron another two to five months, members of these international observer organizations fear that such abuses will escalate and make life unbearable for the Palestinians living under occupation in Hebron.

      1. Incidences involving the detention, intimidation, abuse, or arrest of children and youth.

      Tuesday, January 3rd: Fifteen Golani soldiers approached a group of children playing outside in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, looking for children that were throwing stones. They had started to arrest a 15 year-old boy when elders, women, and family members came outside to stop them. In response, soldiers hit a woman, a three year-old boy, and a 70 year-old man before firing three sound grenades and detaining two men. These men were taken to the military base and held for two hours.

      Saturday, January 7th: Patrolling Golani entered an internet cafe in the Old City and made an apparently arbitrary arrest of a young teenager for not having his ID.

      Thursday, January 12th: Golani dragged a developmentally disabled young man into an alley and hit him repeatedly after he knocked on the checkpoint door, which they closed in front of him. This occurred near his home next to the Quiton checkpoint. When his father ran to the alley, the soldiers stopped and released the boy. That same evening, the soldiers entered the family home to attack his mother and beat the boy with nightsticks and fists. The boy’s brother, hearing a noise, came downstairs, where he was grabbed and beaten in the same way. The soldiers then threw him to the ground, searched him, and beat his head with rifles. Both boys were brought to the police station where they held were for an hour and a half. They then released the developmentally disabled young man to his home and transported his brother to Jabara prison, from which he was released later that night. His family took him to the hospital to receive care for a cracked skull, sutures, and care for his hands, which he could not move.

      this is just the beginning of the report. it goes on and on..

  6. piotr
    February 15, 2012, 10:52 pm

    Wow! Two weaks ago, IDF demolished a solar installation made by a Spanish charity. Earlier this week it was a turn for Poland. And now they want to kill Volke Bernadotte AGAIN? Is it the most offensive charm offensive in history?

    Gazeta Wyborcza: Israel destroyed “our” village, buried “Polish” well

    IDF destroyed village of Rahava, where a charity supported by Polish Government, Polish Humanitatian Action, aided local Beduins in building or renovating 20 water cisterns, 6 existing from Roman times and some newly excavated in rocks. Most cisterns were demolished. Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded explanations from Israeli ambassador. Afterwards it replied to inquiring journalists that

    “The problem of Beduin population, including access to water, is debated at forums of the Union. Actions are being considered that would lead to Israel respecting international law and undertaken commitments”.

    Quite mealy-mouthed, but it does not seem that explanations were convincing. Polish attitude to Israel/Palestine issues is VERY parochial, in the sense that this is a very distant issue. Politically, it means that the government can take almost any position. But the destruction of modest facilities build by Poles seem to hit a nerve. Commentary:,75968,11143337,Dno_beduinskiej_studni.html#ixzz1mOKVZvct

    Military destroyed the village according to the law applied in Occupied Lands, especially in the administrative zone C, where a commander of a military unit has absolute power. One cannot exclude the pressure from settlers. Inhabitants of Tene [nearby settlement] harrassed Beduins of Rahava gratuitously and najpaskudniej [no hit in the Babla, “most spitefully”? “most despicably”?] To be clear – I regard the law, used all to often by IDF to demolish palestinian villages and water facilities as inhuman. This is simply an abomination; I hope that soldiers have nightmares from conscience pangs.

    On-line poll

    “Should Poland intervene about the wells of PAH destroyed by IDF”
    Yes, 73%
    No, 19%
    I do not care, 8%

  7. annie
    February 15, 2012, 10:54 pm

    notes..’settlers exploiting the inaction of the israeli state’…preventing palestinians from protecting themselves, palestinians sitting ducks..nabulus..surrounded..95% decrease in palestinian violence..argh

  8. American
    February 16, 2012, 12:43 am

    The settlers are doing what Israel wants them to do.
    Otherwise they would stop them.

  9. thankgodimatheist
    February 16, 2012, 6:47 am

    Israelis celebrate the death of 10 Palestinian Kindergarten children in a bus/truck collision :

  10. Mayhem
    February 18, 2012, 5:03 am

    I apologize for posting this message here – I can’t see any other way to communicate with the Troopers who run Mondoweiss. When I go to my commenter profile the latest comments I have posted are not showing up.

    • Cliff
      February 18, 2012, 6:01 am

      the ‘Troopers’?

      If you hate Phil and Adam so much, why do you continue to comment here?

      Why don’t you find a blog specifically about Syria or Libya or Darfur? You keep bringing up the lack of coverage of issues not specifically pertaining to the I-P conflict, which MW is focused on.

      So why do you frequent an anti-Zionist, I-P blog?

      BTW, the issue you are whining about now is a glitch that we all are dealing with. My latest comments aren’t showing up as well.

      Don’t worry, it’s not persecution against you because you’re a Zionist on an anti-Zionist/post-Zionist website.

    • Chaos4700
      February 18, 2012, 10:34 am

      “Mooooooommy! Those bad people won’t let me post my Islamophobic comments and my anti-Arab screeds! I can’t even get all of my straw men through to try to protect the settlers and give them more room to wage pogroms! They’re Nazis, Mommy!”

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