During the first three weeks of April, B’Tselem documented 23 settler attacks against Palestinians. In all of March, 23 incidents were documented, 11 of them after the severe restrictions on movement and social gatherings were imposed. In comparison, 11 attacks were recorded in January and 12 in February.
The IMEMC reports that Israeli colonial settlers unleashed their cattle, on Wednesday, onto Palestinian-owned farmlands in the northern Alghour area of the Jordan Valley, in the West Bank.
Human rights groups sent an urgent letter to Israeli authorities yesterday demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s aerial herbicide spraying in the eastern Gaza Strip as Palestinians in Gaza desperately fight to keep coronavirus at bay and prevent its outbreak into the wider population.
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.
The Israeli army Thursday allowed dozens of Jewish settlers into Sebastia archeological site in the north of the occupied West Bank despite a Palestinian Authority decision closing tourist sites and banning gatherings in an effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
At least 10 Palestinians were killed and 58 injured, including 14 in critical condition, on March 6, when a fire broke out in a bakery at a crowded market in Nuseirat refugee camp in the middle area of the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Information Center.
Only democracy in the Middle East? Poll conducted by the Pew Research Center finds support in Israel is “significantly lower than in most countries for freedom of expression, including an uncensored press, internet freedom and freedom for human rights groups to operate freely.”
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.