4,073 Violations by the Occupation and Settlers in the First Half of 2023

4,073 Violations by the Occupation and Settlers in the First Half of 2023

The Resistance Wall and Settlement Authority stated that Israeli occupation forces and settler militias committed 4,073 violations against our people, land, and holy sites during the first half of 2023.

In the semi-annual report on 'Israeli State Aggression and Settler Attacks on Palestinian Territories,' the head of the authority, Muayyad Shabana, explained that these violations included land destruction, uprooting trees, confiscating properties, checkpoint closures, physical injuries, and were concentrated in the Nablus Governorate with 952 incidents, followed by the Jenin Governorate with 553 incidents, and the Bethlehem Governorate with 435 incidents.

He further emphasized that the recent series of collective attacks carried out by settler militias on peaceful Palestinian villages such as Huwara, Turmus Ayya, Um Safa, Aqraba, Qaryut, and Deir Dibwan sounded the alarm for the nature of the upcoming phase of the conflict. This phase has been facilitated by the official state apparatus, firstly through the ascendance of settler gang leaders to positions of power within the occupation state and secondly as a result of the religious terrorism schools that have produced this generation of terrorist settlers. Palestinians are left defenseless against armed settler terrorism protected by the military, which criminalizes any attempt by Palestinians to defend themselves and their land.

The report also mentioned that settler attacks, amounting to 1,148 incidents, led to the martyrdom of eight Palestinians at the hands of settlers. These attacks included the establishment of new settlement outposts, seizure of Palestinian lands, assaults on streets and vehicles, village intrusions, property arson, direct gunfire, and organized and dangerous attacks. These incidents have recently escalated in villages like Huwara, Turmus Ayya, Al-Lubban, Aqraba, Masafer Yatta, and others. Nablus Governorate witnessed the highest number of attacks with 470 incidents, followed by Ramallah Governorate with 265 incidents.

Additionally, the report highlighted that 13 new settlement outposts, mostly agricultural, were established by settlers in the first half of 2023, along with the legalization of four others. These outposts were established in Ramallah, Nablus, Salfit, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Hebron Governorates. The Israeli authorities also initiated the legalization process for four new outposts in the vicinity of the 'Eli' settlement between Ramallah and Nablus Governorates.

Regarding land confiscation, the report stated that the Israeli authorities seized over 44,000 dunams of land under various pretexts such as modifying the boundaries of natural reserves, confiscation orders, military appropriation orders, and state land declarations. Among these, 43,000 dunams were modified as boundaries of natural reserves in Jerusalem and Jericho Governorates, 433 dunams were confiscated through three appropriation orders, and 449 dunams were seized through nine military orders. Additionally, one declaration resulted in the confiscation of 14.5 dunams of land.

Furthermore, the report indicated that the Israeli authorities issued 822 demolition notices under the pretext of lack of permits, reflecting a significant and record-breaking increase compared to the same period in previous years. Most of these notices were concentrated in Hebron Governorate (221 notices) and Bethlehem Governorate (170 notices). The authorities carried out a total of 256 demolition operations, resulting in the destruction of 303 structures in the West Bank, including Jerusalem. This included the repeated demolition of an elementary school in Jabal al-Dheib, Bethlehem Governorate. As a result, 543 individuals, including 272 children, were displaced.

In terms of tree destruction, the report noted that the occupation forces and settlers caused the cutting and damage of 8,340 trees since the beginning of the year, with a focus on Hebron Governorate where 2,005 trees were affected, followed by Ramallah Governorate with 1,871 trees, and Nablus Governorate with 1,797 trees."