This Week in Palestine: Settler Violence and Racism on the Rise

Jewish settlers set Palestinian property on fire in the village of Huwwara, near Nablus. (Photo: via

By Robert Inlakesh

As the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed to the infamous Aqaba Security Summit in Jordan, agreeing on a US framework to fight against the West Bank resistance groups, Palestinian fighters responded to the mass shooting of over 100 Palestinians in Nablus, resulting in the killing of 11 last week.

A Palestinian gunman opened fire, killing two illegal Israeli settlers in Huwwara town, near Nablus. What followed was a pogrom against the entire town of Huwwara, where Israeli settlers under military protection burned down 100 Palestinian homes. From there, tensions only escalated.

Saturday: Palestinian Resistance Challenges PA

On Saturday night, 5 Palestinian were arrested in a number of raids by the Israeli military, then on Saturday morning the checkpoint at Shuafat refugee camp was closed, preventing school buses from passing through. Israeli forces were also filmed beating unarmed Palestinians at the checkpoint.

A joint statement was issued in response to the Palestinian Authority (PA) attending a “security summit” in the Jordanian city of Aqaba. The summit was organized to have the PA adopt a US-proposed plan to crack down on the armed resistance movements in the northern West Bank, this meant continuing security coordination with Israel, on a more advanced level, to restore PA control and do Israel’s job in defeating the resistance. The joint statement from the Palestinian resistance factions stated that “The participants in the Aqaba Security Summit are outcasts and outside the national consensus, and they only represent themselves.”

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A new archaeological tunnel was discovered and reported upon, built underneath the Moroccan quarter of the old city of occupied Jerusalem. Israeli settlers invaded the town of Burin, in the Nablus district, committing arson to multiple Palestinian vehicles and attacking Palestinians at random. The settlers were able to do so under the protection of the Israeli army. Israeli occupation forces brutally beat and detained a number of young men in the Bab al-Amoud area of east Jerusalem.

Al-Issawiya neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem was also stormed, resulting in confrontations between the occupation forces and Palestinian youths. The occupation army also attacked Palestinians near the town of Beit Ummar, north of al-Khalil, following this Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian woman in the al-Arroub refugee camp. Later Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian man from Sur Bahr, in occupied East Jerusalem. A temporary checkpoint was also set up in the town of Silwan.

The Jenin Brigades opened fire on Israeli reconnaissance aircraft over the skies of the Jenin refugee camp. Four Palestinians who had climbed over the fence separating Gaza from Israeli-controlled territory were reportedly arrested by the Israeli military.

For the eighth consecutive week, tens of thousands of Israeli protesters came to the streets to demonstrate against the extremist government of Benjamin Netanyahu, to protest the reforms his administration plans to make to the Israeli judicial system.

An unnamed Israeli official told Israel’s Channel 12 that there is no possibility to stop the storming of Palestinian cities, and the head of the Shin Bet will participate in the Aqaba meeting to examine the ability of the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibility in places that it is absent from, such as Jenin.

The Jenin Brigades organized a public press conference that challenged the PA for its participation in the Aqaba summit, calling on people to protest against the meeting. Palestinian civil society organizations and even members of the ruling Fatah party also released protest statements. On Saturday, 42 acts of resistance were recorded, including 12 shootings toward Israeli occupation forces.

Sunday: Jewish Settlers’ Pogrom in Huwwara

On Sunday, stones were thrown by Palestinian youths, damaging a settler bus near the Gush Etzion settlement in al-Khalil. Israeli settlers had burned down a poultry farm in the Shallal area of Salfit, during the night.

Palestinian prisoners continued civil-disobedience measures in response to newly introduced human rights violations against them, proposed by the Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Israeli extremist settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque compound and performed religious rituals, carrying on with the routine violations of the status quo at the Holy Site.

In a press statement to the Quds News Network, the mother of Martyr Ibrahim al-Nabulsi: “For more than 30 years, the peace process has not succeeded because the enemy is fighting us and wants to annihilate us. On the Prophet’s journey and Palestine, which is our right.”

Thousands of Palestinians protested in central Ramallah against the PA’s participation in the Aqaba summit.

Israeli occupation forces are caught on film beating two Palestinians on al-Wad street, in the old city of occupied Jerusalem.

A Palestinian resistance fighter shot dead two illegal Israeli settlers in their car, in the area of Huwwara town, managing to withdraw from the area without being caught. The shooting attack took place at the same time that the Aqaba security summit was being convened.

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Israeli occupation forces then shut down the Huwwara checkpoint, fired tear gas toward Palestinians and allowed settlers to burn down houses in the area. Also, Israeli settlers organized a march, openly aimed at burning down Huwwara to collectively punish Palestinian families who had nothing to do with the attack. Dozens of settlers then opened fire at random on Palestinian homes in Asira al-Qibliya.

At 6 PM (Palestine time) Israeli fanatical settlers, some armed, carried out a pogrom against Palestinians in Huwwara town. Over 100 homes were set on fire, many with innocent families still inside, this was done by hundreds of settlers who were whipped up into a racist frenzy and were protected by Israeli soldiers for the whole time whilst they carried out their arson and physical assaults. Over 100 Palestinian vehicles were also burned. Settlers also attacked neighboring villages and towns, using similar tactics, as Israeli soldiers joined in on attacking ambulances and allowing for settlers to go after fire trucks, while the army blocked, and/or delayed, journalists and medical workers from entering the areas affected.

Over 390 Palestinians were reportedly injured during the pogrom. A 37-year-old Palestinian medical worker, Samih Aqtash, who had just returned from helping earthquake victims in Turkiye, was shot dead during a settler incursion in the village of Za’tara, south of Nablus.

The head of the Israeli National Security Council released the following statement: “Contrary to reports about the Aqaba summit, there is no change in our policy. In the coming months, we will legalize 9 settlement outposts, and the construction of 9,500 new settlement units will be approved, and there will be no construction freeze or change in the status quo in Al-Aqsa, and there are no restrictions on the activities of the army.”

Palestinians came to the streets throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, to protest against the pogrom carried out against the people of Hawara.

Monday: Israeli KM Praises Pogrom

On Monday, an Israeli settler reportedly attempted to ram their car into a group of Palestinian journalists who were present in Huwwara town.

A Palestinian citizen of Israel was announced dead after he was shot in occupied Galilee, his name was Ahmed Titi. The case was reportedly related to criminal activity. Palestinian teachers continued their efforts to protest the PA’s refusal to respond to their strike demands for the educational sector in the West Bank, female teachers organized a protest in front of the Directorate of Education in Ramallah city.

Israeli Knesset Member, Tzvika Fogel, of the Religious Zionism party, openly praised the pogrom carried out by settlers the night before, saying that she wanted to see Huwwara burn. Palestinian youths confronted invading settlers in Beita village, injuring five of the extremist settlers with stones.

Palestinian teachers on strike demonstrated in front of al-Khalil’s PA education ministry office, chanting in support of the people of Hawara. Israel’s security minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, stormed Jabal Sabih in Beita village, supporting the efforts of fellow illegal settler extremists to take over Palestinian land there for an illegal settler outpost.

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Young Palestinian men in Gaza released a number of balloons with burning objects attached to them, intended to set fire to Israeli settlement areas, the attempt was unsuccessful. A march was organized and attended by hundreds in Jenin, supporting the Palestinian political prisoners in their civil disobedience campaign against the Israeli military prison authorities.

Illegal Israeli settlers gathered at the Lions’ Gate in the old city of occupied Jerusalem, attempting to start fights with random Palestinians. Meanwhile, hundreds of settlers gathered again in Hawara and launched new attacks against more Palestinian homes, backed up by large reinforcements of the occupation army.

A shooting attack was carried out by Palestinians in Ariha (Jericho), killing an Israeli settler and injuring 5 others. The Israeli military opened fire on the Palestinian fighters responsible, to which there was return fire, the Israeli force withdrew for fear of an ambush and the Palestinian resistance force burned the car they had used and were not arrested or injured. Israeli occupation forces were deployed in large numbers to the area and the city of Ariha was besieged, whilst monitoring of the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp took place.

Another shooting towards settlers and soldiers in Jabal Sabih, Beita, took place. No injuries were reported. A settler was later injured, however, after gunfire was reported on a car near the town of Qusra, in south-east Nablus. After a settler entered the area of Silwad, in Ramallah, he was chased out of his car, before it was set on fire by local Palestinians. Armed groups in the north of the West Bank continued to carry out a number of shooting attacks toward military checkpoints and

Settlers continued to attack Palestinians, targeting an ambulance near Jenin whilst it was transporting a sick child to Ramallah. The front window of the ambulance was smashed.

Tuesday: Palestinian Prisoners’ Civil Disobedience Continues

On Tuesday, Israeli occupation forces stormed Ya’bad Jenin and al-Arroub refugee camp in al-Khalil. The occupation forces also demolished the home of the Muhaisen family in al-Issawiya, occupied East Jerusalem.

Settler vehicles were damaged by stones being thrown between the settlements of “Avni Hefetz” and “Einav”, which are built on Palestinian lands east of Tulkarm. Israeli settlers then stormed al-Aqsa mosque again, it was recorded that 3587 settlers had illegally entered al-Aqsa since the start of 2023.

As Palestinian prisoners continued civil disobedience, Palestinians protested in solidarity in front of the Red Cross building in al-Bireh. The occupation forces proceeded to demolish the house of Ehab al-Hussaini in Jabal al-Mukaber, occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli occupation forces continue the siege on Ariha and open fire on fishing boats in the sea off of Gaza.

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Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals remove artworks of school students from Gaza, at the request of British Lawyers for Israel, after the Zionist Lobby group claimed that Jewish patients felt vulnerable and harassed because of these artworks. This demonstrated that British hospitals were willing to take down non-political artwork because racist Jewish supremacists were uncomfortable with the fact that children from a specific ethnic group had created the art. It is perhaps one of the starkest examples of Zionist racism and due to the cowardice in Britain, they decided to accommodate blatant racism against children.

Israeli occupation police arrested a Palestinian Jerusalemite on a train because he had a photo of resistance icon Ibrahim Nablusi on the back of his phone.

Illegal settlers attacked the car of Quds News reporter Mutasem Saqf Al-Hait at the Za’tara checkpoint in Nablus. Israeli occupation forces later raided al-Taawun in Nablus, where resistance fighters opened fire on their military jeeps. Raids in East Jerusalem followed.

Wednesday: Israel Passes Bill Allowing Death Penalty for Palestinians

On Wednesday, Israeli settlers again stormed the grounds of al-Aqsa Mosque, following a morning raid by the military into Qusra village in Nablus.

The Mayor of Huwwara town announced that 18 million shekels worth of damage had been inflicted during the pogrom earlier in the week.

The Palestinian Authority security forces stormed the headquarters of Radio Watan and assaulted a number of journalists to prevent an attempt to hold a press conference for political and social figures in Ramallah. During the month of February alone it was recorded that 56 violations were carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinian journalists.

Israeli occupation forces stormed the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp, besieged a number of homes and fired an anti-tank missile into one of the buildings.

Five Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli raiding forces. Three Palestinians were shot, during a number of exchanges of gunfire inside the camp between the Palestinian resistance and the occupation army. A young Palestinian man, Mahmoud Jamal Hamdan was killed during the Israeli raid.

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Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at settler vehicles near the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem. Israeli demonstrators who came out to oppose the Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms were assaulted by Israeli occupation police, causing a large scuffle, and sparking fears of an escalation between the two Zionist camps inside the occupying regime.

The Israeli Knesset voted on the first hearing of a racist bill to implement the death penalty against Palestinians for attacking Israelis, the bill passed 55 votes to only 9 in opposition.

Two shootings towards Israeli military checkpoints were recorded around Nablus, and another shooting towards an illegal settlement in al-Khalil was recorded. Later, young men demonstrated and set fire to rubber tires in the vicinity of Nur Shams camp, in Tulkarm, in protest against the pursuit of a Tulkarm battalion fighter by the Palestinian security forces.

Thursday: Israel Demolishes Home in Al-Khalil

On Thursday, Israeli occupation forces raided Jaba’ in Jenin and were met with heavy gunfire from Palestinian resistance forces based in the area. Al-Khader town, near Bethlehem, was also raided.

Three Palestinian children died as the result of a tragic car accident in Shuafat refugee camp. The occupation forces later demolished the home of the Ithna family in al-Khalil, making 8 people homeless.

The PA security forces arrest political activist Ammar Banat, the cousin of prominent PA dissident Nizar Banat, who was murdered after being brutally beaten to death by PA forces in 2021.

The Fatah student movement at al-Khalil University won 25 seats, over the Hamas student movement that won only 16, to claim victory in the student elections. A bus was attacked by Israeli settlers near the illegal settlement of Gush Etzion in al-Khalil.

Tulkarm Brigade to Join Lions’ Den, Jenin Brigade in Armed Resistance

61 resistance acts were documented within a 24-hour period, including 17 shootings and Molotov cocktail-throwing attacks. Israeli navy boats opened fire toward Gazan fishermen in the sea off of Beit Lahia.

The Tulkarm Battalion armed group issued a press statement, stating that “we address our last message to you, our brothers in the security services. We do not want our hands to be stained with Palestinian blood. We do not ask you to provide aid or protection, so let us meet the face of our Creator while fighting the occupier.”

Israeli forces raided Azzoun village, in Qalqilya, shooting three Palestinians, killing 15-year-old Mohammed Saleem and a 16-year-old, Yamen Rabi, was also seriously injured. Resistance fighters later opened fire on a number of Israeli military checkpoints around Jenin, whilst Israeli forces fired flares above the Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in Ariha.

Friday: Jenin Brigades Organizes Mass Rally

On Friday, Israeli occupation forces stormed the village of Rummana, west of Jenin, in addition to Silwad (Ramallah), Tammun (Tubas), in addition to the city of Qalqilya. 8 Palestinians were arrested during the early morning raids. Fires also broke out in shops in both Qalqilya city and al-Ram (north of Jerusalem) after Israeli forces opened fire with tear gas at these locations.

Palestinian political prisoners continued their 18th consecutive day of civil disobedience and it emerged that Palestinian resistance icon, Zakaria Zubeidi, was assaulted by Israeli prison forces, leading to the announcement of an open hunger strike in solidarity from a number of prisoners.

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayer in front of a home threatened with demolition in the al-Bustan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. 70,000 performed the Friday prayer inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Protests broke out throughout the West Bank, demonstrating against the pogrom in Huwwara town. In Qalqilya, four Palestinians were shot with live ammunition. A shooting was later recorded by the Tura battalion, towards the Tura military checkpoint.

Israeli settlers, accompanied by the Israeli military, attack the village of Burin as young Palestinian protesters emerge to confront them with stones.

Ben-Gvir Orders to Tighten Security for Israeli Government Ministers

The Jenin Brigades organized a mass rally of its fighters, ending with a press conference inside the Jenin refugee camp. The rally consisted of hundreds upon hundreds of armed fighters, from groups ranging from Hamas, PIJ, Fatah, PFLP, DFLP and even the Salahudeen Brigades. This show of force revealed that the strength of the armed resistance forces in Jenin has improved dramatically.

Israeli settler terrorist group known as the Hilltop Youth, called for another pogrom against Huwwara town on Saturday evening, putting out calls for settlers to burn down the entire town. Following the statements of Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, where he encouraged burning down Hawara, settlers have become more emboldened.

The previous week 11 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli raiding forces in Nablus city, as occupation forces carried out a mass shooting of over 100 Palestinians with live ammunition.

– Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He focuses on the Middle East, specializing in Palestine. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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