Israelis help Palestinians hit by settler attacks

Increasing settler attacks since the war in Gaza have led to widespread concern and condemnation.

Tuwani:

In a desert area in the occupied West Bank, Israeli activist Eyal Shani has mounted a small camera on his T-shirt to collect evidence of settler violence against Palestinian sheep farmers.

Campaigners like Shani have tried to protect Palestinians from Jewish settlers in the rugged Masafer Yatta area south of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, but they say it has become increasingly difficult as attacks follow the outbreak of the war in Gaza have increased enormously.

“If we are not there, the settlers will take all the power, they do not see the Palestinians as people,” the 56-year-old said. “We are the last shield.”

Israel has occupied the West Bank, home to three million Palestinians, since 1967 and some 490,000 Israeli settlers live there in communities considered illegal under international law.

Increasing settler attacks since the war in Gaza have led to widespread concern and condemnation, including at the UN.

Several times a week, Shani Masafer visits Yatta and checks on Palestinian shepherds like Shihada Salameh Makhamreh, 60, who lives with his family in a hamlet carved into a rock face.

Their cool cave home keeps out the heat, but does not protect them from Israeli settlers who have moved nearby.

Makhamreh said that in mid-January, a group of young settlers attacked their home in the middle of the night and beat his 75-year-old mother.

Since then, he says, the family has lived in fear, not understanding why they were targeted in such a remote area.

“We are peaceful people,” Makhamreh said. “We don't play politics.”

– 'A free hand' –

Settler attacks in the West Bank have been on the rise for some time, but have increased even more rapidly since the October 7 Hamas attack, which prompted Israel's assault on Gaza.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA recorded 1,096 settler attacks between October 7 and March 31, an average of six per day, compared to three per day before October 7 and two per day in 2022.

Israeli activists say they have struggled to keep emboldened settlers at bay.

Anti-settler activist Ehud Krinis, 57, said settlers in the West Bank can count on the support of the most right-wing government in Israel's history.

Two leading Israeli ministers live in settlements – Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich – and Krinis said settlers now feel they have “a free hand to do almost anything they want.”

Meanwhile, Israeli activists visiting Masafer Yatta say they have felt increasingly isolated since October 7.

“Some people see me as a traitor because I betrayed the Zionist idea of ​​a free Jewish state,” Shani said.

Irene Bleier Lewenhoff, 73, a retired nurse who came with Krinis to bring food to the Makhamreh family, said she has felt “very, very lonely” in Israeli society since the war, even as she campaigned against the Israeli occupation of the West. Banker for over 50 years.

The problems in Masafer Yatta have been going on for a long time: the Israeli army declared the area a restricted military zone in the 1980s.

In May 2022, after a lengthy legal battle, Israel's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the military and helped pave the way for the expulsion of Palestinian residents, who said their ancestors had lived there for generations.

Krinis said the army allowed settlers to move into the Masafer Yatta hills to drive out the Palestinian population.

“The military doesn't want to evacuate them directly, so they are trying to do it in an indirect way,” he said.

The idea was to “let the settlers be the ones putting pressure there,” he said.

If the settlers make life difficult enough, Krinis said, the Palestinians will eventually “decide for themselves to leave.”

– 'Difficult and dangerous' –

At least 491 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, according to Palestinian officials.

At least 19 Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks during the same period, according to official Israeli figures.

Elsewhere in Masafer Yatta, Israeli activists helped another Palestinian family in the aftermath of a settler attack.

Zakaria al-Adra said a settler shot him at point-blank range in the village of Al-Tuwani, south of Hebron, on October 13.

Footage shared by Israeli rights group BTselem appears to show soldiers standing next to the gunman.

The 29-year-old said that despite undergoing more than a dozen medical operations, he was no longer able to work or support his wife and four children, including 10-month-old twins.

Ehud and Irene visit weekly and bring supplies, including diapers for the babies.

Adra's wife Shouq, 24, told AFP that life had become “more difficult and dangerous” since October 7.

“The entire settlement has weapons,” she said, adding that even Israeli and foreign volunteers were no longer safe.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Related Posts

  • World
  • May 16, 2024
  • 11 views
  • 4 minutes Read
Trump Camp is reportedly 'annoyed'. Biden called his debate bluff

As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the future of our country hangs in the balance. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is crucial to creating an…

  • World
  • May 16, 2024
  • 9 views
  • 2 minutes Read
Three people died in a small plane crash in Tennessee that left a field of debris half a mile long, officials say

15/05: CBS Morning News 24:11 All three people on board were killed Wednesday when a small plane crashed near Franklin, Tennessee, authorities said. The single-engine Beechcraft V35 crashed around noon…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

NEW: Three of Mike Johnson's top staffers abruptly resign | The Gateway expert

  • May 22, 2024
NEW: Three of Mike Johnson's top staffers abruptly resign |  The Gateway expert

Barbie will make dolls in honor of Venus Williams and other star athletes

  • May 22, 2024
Barbie will make dolls in honor of Venus Williams and other star athletes

Cornel West joins DC's reparations protest against Wells Fargo Bank

  • May 22, 2024
Cornel West joins DC's reparations protest against Wells Fargo Bank

Anne Robinson gives away £50million fortune to avoid inheritance tax

  • May 22, 2024
Anne Robinson gives away £50million fortune to avoid inheritance tax

Newsweek Promotes FAKE NEWS Story on Tucker Carlson and… RUSSIA! | The Gateway expert

  • May 22, 2024
Newsweek Promotes FAKE NEWS Story on Tucker Carlson and… RUSSIA!  |  The Gateway expert

How will the violent unrest in New Caledonia affect global nickel prices?

  • May 22, 2024
How will the violent unrest in New Caledonia affect global nickel prices?

Michael Cohen has sworn he has nothing disparaging about Trump, another lie where all testimony ends

  • May 22, 2024
Michael Cohen has sworn he has nothing disparaging about Trump, another lie where all testimony ends

Megyn Kelly Educates Bill Maher on Hillary Clinton's Election Denial (VIDEO) | The Gateway expert

  • May 22, 2024
Megyn Kelly Educates Bill Maher on Hillary Clinton's Election Denial (VIDEO) |  The Gateway expert

SteelSeries releases limited Destiny 2: The Final Shape gear

  • May 22, 2024
SteelSeries releases limited Destiny 2: The Final Shape gear

Elections in South Africa: How Mandela's once revered ANC lost its way

  • May 22, 2024
Elections in South Africa: How Mandela's once revered ANC lost its way

Air Force veteran Monique DeSpain is running against Rep. Val Hoyle for the Oregon House seat

  • May 22, 2024
Air Force veteran Monique DeSpain is running against Rep. Val Hoyle for the Oregon House seat