Palestinian Locals Repel Settlers’ Attack on Bethlehem Village

BETHLEHE, October 11, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinians from the village of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem, managed to fend off an attack by Jewish settlers on the village at predawn Sunday, according to local and security sources.

The sources said a group of Jewish settlers from the nearby illegal settlements of Beitar Ellit and Gush Etzion entered the outer parts of the village in the late night hours, and proceeded to attack adjacent Palestinian homes with stones.

However, night guards and local Palestinian villagers rushed to the scene to confront the settlers and chased them out of the village.

Following a noticeable increase in violent activity by Jewish settlers across the West Bank, local Palestinian communities that are situated close to Israeli settlements in the West Bank recently began to deploy night guard committees to confront possible Jewish attacks on Palestinian villages.

On July 31, a group of Jewish fanatics carried out a deadly arson attack on the Dawabsheh’s family home in Nablus’ Duma village. The Duma attack left 4-year-old Ahmad orphaned, after his toddler brother, Ali, father, Sa’ed, and mother, Reham, lost their lives.

According to OCHA Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 15 and 28 of September 2015, “Three Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians, leading to injury or damage to property were reported.”

The attacks included “the physical assault of a Palestinian man who entered the settlement of Shave Shomron by mistake; an arson attack causing damage to around 550 trees in southern Hebron reportedly by settlers from Haggay settlement; damage to a water cistern in Al Khader (Hebron), reportedly by settlers from El’azar settlement; Additionally, (not included in the count) a seven-year-old boy was injured in a hit-and-run incident in the H2 area of Hebron city.”

Al-Haq human right organization stated that, “Attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank against members of the Palestinian population and their property are an extensive, long-term, and worsening phenomenon.”

Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.