‘The United Nations publishes a report on settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, revealing a drastic rise in Palestinian casualties and property damage in 2011 compared with 2010
Activists trying to prevent a settler from pulling a Palestinian water hose out of a well. (Photo: Mairav Zonszein)
The United Nations Office for Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) in the Palestinian territories has just published a report on settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank that (not surprisingly) shows a significant rise since last year. The report covers not only physical harm to Palestinians, but also property damage, which can often be just as bad or worse than physical harm, as the impact of uprooted olive trees, damaged tractors or murdered sheep on Palestinian livelihood can be so grave that it ultimately costs lives.
The report also shows how such violent behavior leads to the displacement of Palestinian communities (read: gradual cleansing and land grab), who are forced to leave their homes and move towards larger urban areas of the West Bank.
Maybe the most disturbing statistic is that 90% of complaints filed with Israeli police by Palestinians of such incidents have been closed without any indictments. This means no accountability and no justice. As the report explains:
Measures of the current system, including requiring Palestinians to file complaints at police stations located inside Israeli settlements, actively work against the rule of law by discouraging Palestinians from filling complaint
The report is a confirmation and testament to the horrid and illegal behavior that has become an epidemic known as “price tags,” and it does not even include those acts of violence happening inside the Green Line – such as the attack on the Abu el-Abed restaurant in Jaffa last week or just last night (Sunday), when the Peace Now offices in Jerusalem were evacuated due to a bomb threat.