carnegie logo

Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next »

WEST BANK: Palestinians ask for international protection citing rise in attacks by Israeli settlers

Lif2junc The Palestinian Authority asked for international protection Monday citing a sharp rise in Israeli settler violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.

The call came after three Israelis from the Havat Maon settlement allegedly stabbed and seriously injured 33-year-old Mahmud Ibrahim Awad of Khirbat Tuba, a tiny village south of the West Bank city of Hebron, as he was walking home Monday morning. Awad was stabbed in the head, chest and arm.

In another incident, Israeli settlers allegedly opened fire at Palestinians during a funeral in the village of Beit Ommar, north of Hebron, injuring two people. One of them, a 59-year-old, was reported in critical condition. The second suffered injuries in the leg.

The Israeli army, which maintains a presence nearby because the village is on a road often used by settlers, intervened, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the Palestinians, who threw rocks at the settlers after the shooting.

Ghassan Khatib, director of the Palestinian Authority media center, issued a statement holding the Israeli government responsible for what he called "serious and systematic escalation" in settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East War.

Khatib called for "urgent international protection to prevent further crimes against the civilians."

Palestinians say attacks by Israeli settlers in the West Bank have escalated since the bloody slaying of an Israeli family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar last week. 

No one has been arrested yet in connection with the Itamar killings, but Israeli officials and news media blamed Palestinian militants, resulting, Palestinians say, in revenge attacks by settlers. The Israeli government has placed a gag order on the investigation, after rumors that Thai and Filipino guest workers had been rounded up for questioning in the attack.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who strongly denounced the Itamar slayings, also denounced the assumption that a Palestinian was responsible, accusing Israel of convicting Palestinians before the truth behind the crime was known.

"There is an insistence on blaming the Palestinian people before the investigation had revealed the truth about who the killer was," Abbas said, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. "I do not know why this persistence and why they insist on this position even though the facts are not yet known."

Abbas said "there are daily crimes committed by Israeli settlers" against Palestinian civilians, yet no one seems to be talking about them. "Our villages are being attacked on a daily basis, and so our mosques and our homes and our olive trees are cut down," he said. "Israel and the international community should take note of that."

In its weekly Protection of Civilians report, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory recorded 32 incidents in which by settlers caused damage to Palestinian property, including one incident that left eight Palestinians injured.

It said that in the immediate aftermath of the Itamar killings, Israeli settlers rioted in the West Bank village of Awarta, the closest to the settlement, setting fire to tires and assaulting an 18-year-old Palestinian. Additionally, incidents of settler stone-throwing and vandalism were reported in the Ramallah, Nablus, Kalkiliya and Hebron areas of the West Bank, resulting in 13 Palestinian injuries and damage to many vehicles, homes and other private and commercial structures, OCHA said.

OCHA noted that in the days before the killings in Itamar there had already been a sharp increase in the number of settler attacks against Palestinians, beginning March 3 when Israeli settlers held a “day of rage” to protest the Israeli army demolition of a number of unauthorized structures in the Havat Gilad settlement outpost. Settlers rioted and blocked major roads and intersections across the West Bank in what they described as payback in the "price tag" policy targeting Palestinian civilians and property to protest the Israeli army's removal of their illegal outposts.

OCHA said that during the first two weeks of March there were 10 incidents involving Israeli settlers that resulted in 15 injuries to Palestinians, and 34 additional incidents resulting in damage to Palestinian property.

— Maher Abukhater in Ramallah, West Bank

Photo: Israeli soldiers and Palestinian medics treat Mahmud Ibrahim Awad, 33, after he was allegedly attacked by Israeli settlers in the Palestinian village of Yatta, near the Jewish settlement of Mahon, in the occupied West Bank. Credit: Abed al Hashlamoun / Reuters

Comments () | Archives (35)

Typical cowardly attacks by Israeli religious fanatics. Firstly an Israeli government agency kill a settler family with the likelihood it will be blamed on Palestinians.
The aim:-
1. To destroy the mounting public support for a peace agreement with Palestinians.
2. Gain support for tough measures from the failing government.
3 Apply pressure on the weak PA to assist in their dirty work.
4 An excuse to steal more Palestinian land to build colonies.

Israelis should show greater concern for the hate which is growing often unjustly against Jews outside Israel who will ultimately be punished for the sins of the racist state.
Is this the intention, a fear campaign as was used in Iraq in 48 to drive Jews to Israel for "protection" of the zionist state which can then claim the pressure of population "forces" them to take more land from neighboring countries.
A very sick bunch of war criminals are in charge of the asylum which is Israel and we are supporting with gifts of over $3B pa bringing us hate and condemnation

The settlers on the West Bank, besides being outlaws, are also terrorists. The Israeli army is there to protect them and to facilitate their attacks on local Palestinians. The settlers move around freely to commit their attacks, while the Palestinians are forced into smaller and smaller Bantustans. Palestinians are routinely killed in cold blood by the Israeli settlers or the army. So yes, international protection is necessary. The nascent system of apartheid IN THE OCCUPIED AREAS, and the violence from terrorist settlers is only going to get worse.

Ask the Fogel family anout attacks...

We see that the Jewish Al Queda is up to their usual shenanigans.

When are they going retaliate? I know I wouldn't put up with that type of behavior. Now Mike K. wrote that its ironic that they're complaining about the settlers, consider what happened to a settler family a couple of weeks ago. I guess Mike never gave into consideration that what happened might have been in retaliation to settlers killing two teenagers months before. Look, I make no apologies for being a revenge driven person and I know that two wrongs don't make it right. But it sure as hell makes it even

With Japan in nuclear meltdown and a war in Libya, what a great headline for world news. LA Times should focus only on the Zionists.

This treatment f palestinians isn't new in any way, just as so many other things that they have to go through in the occupied territotories. There has been a lot of terrible crimes being commited against them, and one of the first things (not the only for sure) that need to change in order to do something about the situation is the constant support and protection that Israel is given by the U.S. and your veto in the security council.

Still no proof a Palestinian Arab committed the murders, but plenty of evidence to show the true bloody and racist character of the Jewish settlers. Problem is: revenge is not necessarily a factor here, those zealous settlers committed inhumane acts toward innocent and defenseless Palestinians even before the murders. They are the real terrorists and thugs. They should go back to America, Russia, and Poland. Maybe they might even live next to you.

"It is time for a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its citizens."

Sorry, the Palestinians have no oil.

Just because the Israelis are in the same position as Kha-daffy, using sophisticated, deadly military weapons against civillians, doesn't mean we're going to stop them.

The Palestinians don't even get to capture tanks or anti-aircraft weapons, they're completely sitting ducks against the Israeli air force and artillery.

All the in this story are all lies. It is completely one sided and not true. Even the kid in the picture is from him getting into a fight with his friend. I can't believe the LA times lets such complete lies be published. And settlers only defend themselves against the palestinians who attack them by throwing rocks at them from the hill tops, or shoot at their cars when driving down a road. Like happened to me when I was trying to go visit my family. So why don't you get you story straight and stop printing such fabrications !!

Thanks for the article. Most of our AIPAC controlled media are afraid to print the truth.
Apparently Mike K didn't read the part about there being no known assailant. It's possible that some crazed settler on speed did the killing.
I really admire the Jews at jewishvoiceforpeace. They show what it's like to go against authorities when truth, justice, and harmony are overriding values.
Until AIPAC members in the US and Israelis can feel the pain of 750,000 people removed from their homes, 1400 Gazans massacred, 1.5 million Gazans imprisoned (much like Jews were in the Warsaw Ghetto), then the chances of peace will be marginal.
Since the US government is the enabler, Americans must take matters into their own hands and BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) Israeli made products and companies like Motorola and GE who profit from the occupation.

I don't know the Arabic equivalent of Chutzpah but this is it. The Palestinians cut off the head of a three month old child and now complain they are afraid of Israeli settler attacks ????

Israel already has a "no-fly zone" over Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli bombers get to fly and bomb all they want, and nobody else gets to fly. This is just like the "no fly zones" in Libya, and for over 20 years in Iraq, and so forth.

We saw the shockwave that came off the Israeli family that was murdered last week. But the murder and abduction of Palestinians is so common it never makes the news in the United States. For everyday news of the region.

The settlers are religiously driven and dangerous as hell. They even threaten the secular government of Israel. It will likely be Jew on Jew violence that destroys the zionist state. There as here, Islam is being used as a diversion while another agenda unfolds itself in the background.

Let's hope what comes from those ashes are more interested in being Israelis than they are Jews or Mulims or whatever. Religious states are ALWAYS trouble.

Such divisions in humanity serve no interest but private ones.

But I do see another intifada on the horizon. Because they can't take it anymore. But now...the rest of the world is watching.


It is time for a no-fly zone over Gaza to protect its citizens.

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »



About the Contributors