Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinian Street Vendor in Escalating West Bank Violence

Israeli colonists attacked a Palestinian street vendor in Bazaria village, part of a surge in settler attacks and Israeli military actions in the West Bank. Since October 2023, settlers have carried out 603 attacks, expelling 1,222 people from 19 herding communities, and killing at least nine Palestinians.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinian Street Vendor in Escalating West Bank Violence

Israeli Colonists Attack Palestinian Street Vendor in Escalating West Bank Violence

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, a group of Israeli colonists attacked and beat a Palestinian street vendor at the entrance to Bazaria village, located northwest of Nablus. This incident is part of a larger pattern of escalating violence in the West Bank since the Hamas-led attack in Gaza on October 7, 2023.

Why this matters: The surge in settler attacks and Israeli military actions in the West Bank has significant implications for regional stability and the prospects for a two-state solution. As violence escalates, it also undermines the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, further entrenching a cycle of violence and oppression.

According to UN figures, Israeli settlers have carried out 603 attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, expelling 1,222 people from 19 herding communities in the months following the Gaza attack. Armed settlers have killed at least nine Palestinians, while Israeli security forces have killed 396 others during this period.

Abeer, a small business owner in Jenin, has observed a surge in settler attacks, proliferation of checkpoints, daily raids on Palestinian homes, infrastructure destruction, killing of Palestinian youths, and increased Israeli military airstrikes. She notes that "these attacks have doubled and become more horrific since the onset of the Gaza war."

A UN Human Rights Office report published in March 2024 found that Israel has demolished 917 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank since October 7, 2023, displacing 1,015 Palestinians. The report warns that the West Bank is on the brink of catastrophe due to the drastic acceleration of long-standing patterns of discrimination, oppression, violence against Palestinians.

Yasmeen El Hasan, international advocacy officer at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, describes the situation in the West Bank as "absolutely horrendous." She notes that the Israeli expansion of its settler colonial enterprise in the West Bank is happening parallel to the genocidal war on Gaza. The occupation has established numerous new settler outposts and settler roads within the West Bank, and the Israeli government has approved thousands of new settler units.

The UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, Nada Al Nashif, notes that settlers wearing full or partial Israeli army uniforms and carrying army rifles have been harassing and attacking Palestinians, including shooting at them at point-blank range. The Israeli authorities have distributed about 8,000 weapons to settlement defense squads and regional defense battalions in the West Bank.

In mid-April, about 50 settlers attacked the northern West Bank village of Aqraba, protected by the Israeli occupation army. Two Palestinians were killed in the settler attack, and the Israeli soldiers at the scene stood idly watching the settlers. Yesh Din, an Israeli NGO, concludes that the Israeli law enforcement system fails to protect Palestinians from Israeli violence, and that "the continuation of this systemic failure for at least two decades evinces that the State of Israel normalizes and supports ideologically motivated violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank."

The attack on the Palestinian street vendor in Bazaria village is a stark example of the ongoing settler violence and impunity in the occupied West Bank. As the Israeli government continues to expand settlements and arm settlers, Palestinians face increasing threats to their lives, livelihoods, and basic human rights. The international community has condemned Israel's actions, but meaningful accountability remains elusive as the situation in the West Bank deteriorates further.

Key Takeaways

  • Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian street vendor in Bazaria village, part of a larger pattern of escalating violence in the West Bank.
  • 603 settler attacks have been reported since October 2023, expelling 1,222 people and killing at least 9 Palestinians.
  • Israeli security forces have killed 396 Palestinians during the same period, with daily raids, infrastructure destruction, and airstrikes.
  • The UN reports 917 Palestinian-owned structures demolished, displacing 1,015 people, and warns of a "catastrophe" in the West Bank.
  • The international community has condemned Israel's actions, but accountability remains elusive as the situation in the West Bank deteriorates.