The arson attack that took place on Friday night in Douma, South Nablus, killing an 18-month baby and severely injuring his brother and parents is not an isolated case of settler violence.
There are 500,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem living in around 200 settlements considered as illegal according to International Law. Located nearby Palestinian villages, Israeli settlers often carry out attacks against Palestinian civilians.
According to the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), settler violence includes incidents of intimidation and physical assault, trespassing, preventing access to lands and vandalizing of trees and damage to other agricultural property and Palestinian owned vehicles and houses.
OCHA recorded a general increase of settler violence in recent years particularly since 2006. The annual rate of settler attacks (2,100 in 8 years) has almost quadrupled between 2006 and 2014, from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013. It is interesting to note that between 25 to 30 % of these incidents have been recorded in Nablus district only.
Yesh Din, an Israeli Human Rights organization, reports that out of 1,045 Israel Police investigations into alleged offences by Israeli civilians against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank between 2005 and 2014, 91,4% of investigations concluded without indictment.
Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI), expresses its strong concern about the latest incident and urges all relevant authorities to uphold their obligation of protecting civilians under both International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.
For more information : in the occupied Palestinian territory, Patricia Grillo : + 970 (0)59 79 55 613 & in France, Rolland Gueneau, +33 (0)1 55 66 99 66.
Première Urgence – Aide Médicale Internationale (PU-AMI) is a Non-Governmental humanitarian agency operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2002 and implementing humanitarian protection programs in Douma. PU-AMI has been constantly supporting fundamental rights of population in accordance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL).