'Nothing Changes': Palestinians Report Attacks by Israeli Settlers on West Bank Villages

Meanwhile, Border Police forces attacked in the settlement of Yitzhar for the second day in a row

Hagar Shezaf
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A car with a punctured tire in the village of Yasuf, August 13, 2020.
A car with a punctured tire in the village of Yasuf, August 13, 2020.Credit: Muhammad Sail
Hagar Shezaf

A tractor was set on fire and graffiti was daubed overnight Wednesday at a quarry in the central West Bank, near the village of Urif. Car tires were punctured and graffiti was found in the nearby village of Yasuf as well.

Near Urif, which is close to the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, assailants spray-painted in Hebrew: "The Nation of Israel lives," "ruin begets destruction" and "go to the enemy," among other statements. A police statement Thursday morning said that IDF and police forces are preparing to enter the village, but did not mention the vandalism in Yasuf. They have not yet arrested any suspects.

Assam, a resident of Yasuf, told Haaretz that "Every few months, things like this happen to us. We're all aware of it – the police come, the army comes, and nothing changes."

Later on Thursday, the Israel Police reported that stones and bottles of paint were thrown at a Border Police vehicle in the Yitzhar area. It reported no casualties in the incident. The statement emphasized that "We will not make the recent incidents in which soldiers active in the region in protecting residents and enforcing law and order part of the daily routine," in light of similar attacks on Border Police forces in Yitzhar.

On Wednesday, Border Police and the Civil Administration demolished illegally built structures at the Shevach Haaretz outpost near Yitzhar. Dozens of masked settlers attacked the forces during the operation, throwing stones and bottles of paint, and slashing tires of Border Police vehicles. One officer was lightly injured after she was hit by a stone. Border Police officers responded with riot dispersal methods and back-up troops were called to the scene. The Border Police said that the settlers had been dispersed and the situation was under control.

In late July, a mosque in the city of El Bireh, near Ramallah, was set on fire and spray-painted with Hebrew graffiti. Palestinian reports attribute the arson to settlers. The graffiti on the walls of the mosque read "siege for Arabs and not Jews" and "the land of Israel is for the people of Israel." The Shin Bet opened an investigation into the incident.

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