Israeli settlers arrested on terrorism charges amid rise in violence
Israeli Police on Monday said that, in a joint operation with the Shin Bet security service, they had arrested a number of people suspected of attacking Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank.
The details of the case, including the suspects’ identities, are under a gag order, but Kan TV reported that they include at least three Jewish Israelis, aged 18 to 19. They were reportedly suspected of rock-throwing against Palestinians, illegal possession of weapons, and membership in a terrorist organization.
The arrests come amid Palestinian claims of a systematic increase in attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank, including targeting traffic on main roads, as well as damage to structures and agriculture.
Walid Assaf, the head of the Palestinian Authority’s Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission, said settlers’ attacks have been increasing rapidly over the past two months, with some targeting cars and closing roads.
More incidents had taken place so far this year than in the whole of 2020, Assaf told The Media Line.
“The Jewish terrorist organizations in settlements have clearly and intentionally intensified attacks against Palestinians, including attacking farmers in villages such as Qarawat Bani Hassan, where citizens were injured, and the same thing happens in other areas of the West Bank,” he said.
He added that the most recent occurred on Friday, when a settler ran over three Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley.
The car drove at high speed over three young men from Ramallah, between the Ein al-Bayda and Bardala junctions, according to Palestinian reports, killing one and wounding two. The two injured men were transferred to Israel for treatment.