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Armed and masked Israeli settlers harassing Palestinians. Published by IMEMC in April 2020, but photo is undated.

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have fostered settler violence against Palestinians, the U.N. reports, according to the Jerusalem Post. Between March 17 and 30, “at least 16 attacks by Israeli settlers resulted in five Palestinian injuries and extensive property damage. This represents a 78% increase compared to the bi-weekly average of incidents since the start of 2020.”

“As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralyzing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out for decades. Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities.” –B’Tselem reports on the destruction of a field clinic in Khirbet Ibziq in the occupied Jordan Valley.

Even as Palestinians battle the coronavirus, the occupation takes its toll. Israeli soldiers killed a 29-year-old man allegedly for throwing rocks, and injured more than 200 other Palestinians in the last two weeks. While settlers assaulted a farmer and vandalized cars in West Bank villages, and raided the plaza of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Still from video of Israeli military bulldozer attacking protesters during an anti-settlements protest in the village of Kufur Qaddoum.

Two Palestinians were injured on Friday as Israeli forces attacked dozens of protesters taking part in the weekly anti-settlements protest in the village of Kufur Qaddoum, near Qalqilia in the central occupied West Bank, said Mourad Shtewi, coordinator of the popular resistance in the village. An Israeli army bulldozer was filmed pushing large rocks towards the protesters in the village, injuring a Palestinian child, identified as Mo’men Shtewi, 9, who was treated at the scene.