A new study has revealed that Israeli settlers have intensified acts of violence against Palestinian children over the past two years.
The study conducted by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI) said on Monday that it has investigated 38 cases of settler violence against minors.
The attacks caused the deaths of three children and left 42 others injured, the rights group said.
The study also found the attacks are usually carried out in groups and include verbal harassment, intimidation, physical assault and the destruction of property.
Physical assault and intimidation was reported in at least 15 cases, and stone throwing in another nine incidents. In 13 of the cases, settlers opened fire, killing three children and injuring another 10.
Verbal abuse was documented in almost every case, according to the report.
"Continued settlement expansion and a growing settler population in the occupied territory have severely impacted the security of the Palestinian population, particularly children, whose lives are increasingly threatened by willful attacks perpetrated by extremist settlers," the report said.
In eight cases, soldiers colluded with the assailants either by joining in, turning a blind eye to or punishing the victims rather than the perpetrators.
Israel’s failure to enforce the law and hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions has "created an atmosphere in which settlers enjoy impunity and Palestinians live in fear," the DCI study concluded.