Obligation to Protect Palestinians in the West Bank - Update
On 16 October 2023, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), together with Yesh Din, Bimkom, and Haqel wrote to the members of the War Cabinet, the IDF Chief of Staff, and the Police Commissioner, demanding that in light of the unprecedented violence, property damage and threats by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, they will order the military forces to protect Palestinians from settler attacks (which often take place in the presence or with the assistance of soldiers) and act to prevent the mass forced displacement of herding communities that has been taking place for the past three weeks under cover of the war.
Nearly two weeks have passed since our petition, and no action has been taken. On the contrary, the violence has intensified, taking lives and causing extensive property damage. Communities have been forced to flee their homes in fear of violence while Palestinians harvesting their olives encounter severe violence, forcing them to give up their work in which their livelihood depends on. Settler have also taken advantage of the lack of protection for Palestinians to take over their private land.
The violent settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank have so far taken the lives of 7 Palestinians, led to the expulsion of 896 people from at least 15 different communities, and caused enormous damage to property, infrastructures, agricultural equipment, herds, trees, and fields.
Many attacks occur near settlements and outposts; however, there are also incursions and attacks in remote villages where there are no settlements or outposts, and some are even located in Areas A and B.
Since the beginning of the war, there have been around 200 violent incidents – an average of 8 incidents per day – an unprecedented record in scope and severity.
Therefore, on 29 October 2023, we issued another petition in which we repeated our demand to uphold Israel's obligation to protect Palestinians in the West Bank from settler violence and forced displacement, detailing 108 additional incidents that have taken place across the West Bank since our first request was sent.