While Palestinians are busy fighting the outbreak of the coronavirus, Jewish settlers have increased their attacks in the occupied Jordan Valley, Al Mugtama Magazine reported yesterday.
The armed settlers carried out a wide-scale campaign of attacks on the Palestinian herders and farmers. They stole scores of animals and damaged wide swathes of farmlands.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 14, 2020
Local farmer Mahmoud Bsharat told the magazine that “gangs of settlers” cut trees and steal cattle, as well as opening fire at the Palestinian shepherds. They also steal tractors from Palestinian farmers and damage their farms.
Palestinian activist Aref Daraghmeh said that groups of Jewish settlers carried out 45 attacks over the past few days in the Jordan Valley, noting that they stole farming equipment in addition to damaging farms and homes.
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds in Jordan valley today and injuring a number of them.
— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) February 12, 2019
He also said that the occupation imposed high fines on Palestinians and has been carrying out military drills that damage their crops.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
“Jewish settler violence should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society entirely,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud.
Israeli settlers rode tractors through the occupied West Bank to demand immediate annexation of the Jordan Valley. pic.twitter.com/2EC75fQiFo
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 8, 2020
“Settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation,” according to the Human Rights Group B’tselem. “Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinians casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property. In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks”.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)