Israeli Settler Violence in Palestine

11-12-2012

Violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, have increased substantially in recent years, reaching a record high in 2011. This violence, coupled with an unrelenting harassment and the continual expansion of the settlements, is undermining not only the security and livelihood of the Palestinian population, but also the likelihood of achieving peace and the two-state solution. The international community — including the United States, Israel's steadfast ally — considers Israel's position in Palestine to be that of an occupying power. Israel refutes the appellation, which has important ramifications for the legality of settlements and Israel's obligations in Palestine. Rather than protect the Palestinian population in the territory it occupies, the Israeli government and its security forces instead enable settlers committing violent acts against Palestinians and their property. An environment of impunity reigns, allowing the harassment to continue. The EU has reiterated its clear position on the illegality of the settlements and its condemnation of settler violence. However, the EU needs to marry its words to decisive actions in order to pressure Israel to cease expanding settlements, to evacuate the outposts and to take legal measures against Israeli civilians who attack Palestinians.

Violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, have increased substantially in recent years, reaching a record high in 2011. This violence, coupled with an unrelenting harassment and the continual expansion of the settlements, is undermining not only the security and livelihood of the Palestinian population, but also the likelihood of achieving peace and the two-state solution. The international community — including the United States, Israel's steadfast ally — considers Israel's position in Palestine to be that of an occupying power. Israel refutes the appellation, which has important ramifications for the legality of settlements and Israel's obligations in Palestine. Rather than protect the Palestinian population in the territory it occupies, the Israeli government and its security forces instead enable settlers committing violent acts against Palestinians and their property. An environment of impunity reigns, allowing the harassment to continue. The EU has reiterated its clear position on the illegality of the settlements and its condemnation of settler violence. However, the EU needs to marry its words to decisive actions in order to pressure Israel to cease expanding settlements, to evacuate the outposts and to take legal measures against Israeli civilians who attack Palestinians.