Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers South of Nablus

NABLUS, August 1, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Saturday attacked Palestinian farmers tending to their farmland in the village of Qasra to the south of Nablus, according to a local official.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the West Bank, informed WAFA that a number of settlers from the illegal settlement outpost of Yash Kodesh attacked farmers while they were tending to their farland and attempted to prevent the bulldozers from blowing the land, however, the guard committees managed to fend off settlers’ attack.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces, who provided protection to settlers during their attack, fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades toward the farmers, however, no injuries or arrests were reported.

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.

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.”

Al-Haq has documented a significant increase in incidents of settler violence against the Palestinian population of the West Bank since 2011.

According to OCHA protection of civilian report covering the period between 10 – 16 March 2015, “Seven Israeli settler attacks resulting in Palestinian injuries or property damage were recorded, including the physical assault and injury of two men in Hebron and East Jerusalem; the uprooting of 72 olive trees in At Tuwani (Hebron) and Al Khadr (Bethlehem); and vandalism to four vehicles and several water tanks.”

Al-Haq said that, “The illegal Israeli settlement policy of transferring Israeli civilians into occupied territory is directly responsible for creating a hostile environment that puts civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, in harm’s way.”

The Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are illegal under international law.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers Friday killed an 18-month-old Palestinian baby and seriously injured his entire family, during an arson attack that targeted two homes in the village of Duma, south of Nablus.