‘Slap on the Wrist’: Two Israeli Settlers Charged with Terrorism

On February 26, hundreds of Jewish settlers poured into the town of Huwwara torched Palestinian property. (Photo: via ActiveStill.com)

Two illegal Israeli Jewish settlers have been indicted on charges linked to terrorism following allegations that they vandalized Palestinian property in separate incidents.

The cases come after Israeli security officials vowed to crack down on “nationalist terrorism” by settlers in the West Bank.

The decision is not expected to go down well with the far-right government headed by rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One of the defendants, who was not identified by name but is reportedly in his early 30s, was accused of attacking a mosque in the Palestinian village of Orif alongside “a large number (of) rioters,” according to an indictment cited by the Reuters news agency.

The goal of the vandals was “to arouse fear or shock in the community through a grave blow to the sacrosanct,” the charging document said, noting that the rioters destroyed furniture, smashed windows, and desecrated copies of the Koran inside the mosque.

Visiting Huwwara: The Palestinian Town Torched by Illegal Israeli Settlers

The second suspect was described as a 22-year-old off-duty soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who allegedly participated in a “mob break-in” at a home in Umm Safa village near Ramallah, according to Reuters.

The indictment said that a mother and her four children were forced to hide in a closet while the soldier attempted to set the building on fire, inflicting smoke-inhalation injuries on two of the kids.

The defendants were slapped with several charges, including disorderly conduct, aggravated arson, assault and insulting a religion.

While those offenses typically carry penalties ranging between three and 20 years in prison, the charges were designated “acts of terrorism,” allowing the courts to double any sentence handed down.

The charges however seem to put the blame on a few individuals and avoid confronting the larger trend of mass attacks on Palestinian villages and towns by Jewish settlers under the protection of the Israeli army.

‘Slap on the Wrist’ 

“This is a slap on the wrist”, Palestinian journalist and author, Ramzy Baroud. “Israeli occupation authorities want to give the impression that it is conducting its military occupation of Palestine according to some kind of rules and regulations. But this is not the case at all.”

Attorneys for the two indicted settlers, who are represented by the same law firm, argued that the two accused terrorists were unfairly charged “for media and populist purposes,” going as far as to accuse Israel’s Shin Bet security service of targeting innocent men “instead of finding the people who killed Jews.”

“Though unwittingly, and underhanded, the accused terrorists’ attorneys were somewhat right in their reference to ‘media purposes,” Baroud added.


“What has been taking place in the occupied West Bank is a pogrom, where thousands of Palestinian properties have been destroyed or damaged, Palestinians killed and wounded, all under the protection of the army and the incitement of Netanyahu’s far-right ministers, the likes of Itamar Ben-Gvir, among others,” according to Baroud.

The Occupied Palestinian West Bank has seen a sharp increase in deadly attacks, arson, and vandalism by illegal Jewish settlers in recent months.

The greatest violence was carried out against the towns of Huwwara and Turmus’ayya, along with the surrounding areas.

All of this has taken place while the Israeli army attacked Palestinian towns and refugee camps, mostly in the northern West Bank. The two-day invasion of Jenin, starting on July 3, killed 12 Palestinians, and wounded 120 more.

Palestinian groups or individuals reacted to the Israeli violence by targeting soldiers and armed settlers in various parts of the West Bank.

Some of the Palestinian retaliatory attacks were also reported inside Israel.

(The Palestine Chronicle, RT)

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