by Yousef Munayyer
A well-known leader of an Israeli settlement in Jerusalem, who generally works to get rid of Palestinians by expanding his settlement onto Palestinian land, took his actions a step – or a step on the accelerator – further this morning. Gruesome photos emerged of the Israeli settler leader driving over Palestinian boys demonstrating in Silwan.
The images, to the right, courtesy of AFP, show the boys being run over and flung into the air. We rarely get images of these types of settler attacks, but because of the heavy media presence in East Jerusalem covering the weekly protests against de-Arabization, these shots were captured. While images from other attacks like this one aren’t as readily available, you can imagine just how horrifying they can be. Here is the tough to watch video…
Recently, I wrote about our analysis of settler violence relating to arson after a mosque was targeted earlier this week. Since then, there have been additional acts of arson, but vehicular attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians are also not rare occurrences. In the 18 month period we analyzed, we coded 37 instances of vehicular assault – an average of approximately 2 per month. About 40% of these instances take place in or around Hebron, another 16% occur in the Bethlehem governorate, with the reaming attacks being divided more evenly among other areas.
At 9am on July 7th, 2010, for example, a settler in Bethlehem ran over 3 Palestinian civilians causing injuries to all, including one Palestinian civilian who sustained serious injuries.
At 6pm on June 15th, 2010, a settler near the settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron’s old city ran over a 10-year old Palestinian child. The child sustained serious injuries and had to be evacuated immediately to a hospital for treatment.
A week prior, at 11:30am on June 7th, an Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian civilian near the village of Marj al Ghazal in the Jericho governorate. The victim sustained serious injuries and had to be evacuated to a hospital.
And only a week before that, at 8:30pm on May 31st, an Israeli settler ran over a 59 year-old man and his wife near Beit Ummar, a village in the governorate of Hebron. The attack injured the man and killed his wife, who did not survive the injuries she sustained.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Another day, another settler attack, maybe two. The phenomenon of settler violence continues to be a significant risk to Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, and while you may not hear much about it elsewhere, we will continue to do our part to put forward information about settler violence based on the data we continue to collect.
Source: The Jerusalem Fund
Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of the Palestine Center.