Israel uses settler violence as ‘strategy’ to expel Palestinians from their lands
Israel has been using settler violence as a “strategy” to take over the occupied West Bank and expel Palestinians from their own land, an Israeli advocacy group says.
In a 43-page report released on Sunday, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem revealed that settler violence is not a private initiative, but rather works as a “major informal tool” and a “strategy” employed by Tel Aviv to drive Palestinians from farming and pasture lands in the occupied West Bank.
“Settler attacks against Palestinians are a strategy employed by the Israeli apartheid regime, which seeks to advance and complete its misappropriation of more and more Palestinian land.”
B'tselem said it had documented a total of 451 settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank since early last year, adding that in 183 cases of these attacks, Israeli military forces stood by or assisted the attackers.
Five Palestinians were killed and 22 others arrested in the attacks, it added.
According to the report, the Israeli regime has so far built more than 280 settlements in the West Bank, which are home to more than 440,000 settlers.
Of these settlements, 138 were officially established and recognized by Tel Aviv and some 150 are outposts not officially recognized by the regime.
Around a third of the outposts have been established during the past decade, most of them referred to as “farms.”
These settlements, which are all illegal under international law, dominate hundreds of thousands of dunams to which Palestinians have limited access or none at all.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.