Deadly Israeli settler rampage in occupied West Bank
Israeli settlers rampaged through Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank, burning and attacking at least 300 homes and properties.
Rights groups, activists and politicians called the attacks a settler “pogrom” supported by the government.
During the attacks, across several Palestinian villages south of Nablus, at least one Palestinian was killed and almost 400 injured.
Most of the injuries are attributed to tear gas used by the Israeli army and smoke inhalation from fires ignited by the settlers, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC).
Settlers roamed the streets and set homes, shops, cars, and agricultural land ablaze. The PRC said at least 35 homes were destroyed and 40 others were partially damaged, and over 100 vehicles were burnt or destroyed.
The riots followed a shooting in Huwwara town by a suspected Palestinian, leaving two Israeli settlers dead. Though the riots are being described as a revenge attack, Israeli settler raids on Palestinians has risen for the past six years.
Tensions have escalated recently as Israel undertook large-scale raids in Palestinian cities, killing dozens.
Palestinian and Israeli officials met in Jordan for talks over the weekend to secure calm in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Settler ‘pogrom' supported by government
Sami Abu Shahadeh, a Palestinian politician in the Israeli parliament, said: “The Zionist pogrom taking place in Huwara is a consequence of the Israeli government’s Jewish supremacist political platform.”
The attacks were condemned by Israeli rights groups Peace Now and B'Tselem, who also described the attacks as a settler ‘pogrom.’
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a statement: “Scenes of burning houses and cars, assault on citizens, preventing fire trucks from reaching burned houses and assaulting ambulances transporting patients and injured – all these crimes must face international intervention soon to hold the occupation authorities and stop them,”
“We hold the occupation authorities fully responsible for these heinous crimes, which reflect a systematic policy practiced by the Israeli government, whose ministers demonstrate their support for those crimes in violation of international laws,” he said, adding that a ministerial committee will be formed to compensate the people affected.
The attacks were condemned by various foreign governments, including the United States and France.
The occupied West Bank is home to approximately 2.9 million Palestinians. It has around 475,000 Jewish settlers residing in state-approved settlements that violate international law.
At least 62 Palestinian have been killed by Israeli settlers this year - averaging a fatality daily. Meanwhile, 13 Israelis, which includes a police officer, were killed in the same period.