PA blames Trump Administration for spike in settler attacks

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday condemned the recent spike in settler violence, blaming it on the United States and the Trump administration’s recent softening stance towards the settlements.

The attacks were carried out across the West Bank, most notably, in the villages of Fadel, Qublan, Barqa, Kafr Al-Deek.

In a statement issued by the PA foreign ministry, it announced that the recent escalation in attacks against Palestinians is part of an expansionist colonial project which is being carried out by the Israeli settlers and backed by the Israeli occupation.

The ministry linked the recent increase in violence to the announcement by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, that declared Israeli settlements on Palestinian land were not necessarily illegal.

The attacks included vandalism to 50 cars in the village of Katyout by Jewish settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Yitzhar.

Settlers lit many of the cars on fire, slashed tires, and spray painted the star of David and the words closed military zone in Hebrew on the homes of residents – the second time the village has been targeted this year.

The settlers of Yitzhar have also reportedly threatened and attacked Israeli soldiers patrolling the area.

Over the weekend a group of Jewish settlers who marched through the Old City neighbourhood of Hebron, escorted by Israeli soldiers, attacked locals and left numerous Palestinians injured, including a toddler.

Additionally, dailies posted on various Palestinian social media pages showed settlers throwing objects at the residency of Human Rights Defender, Aref Jaber.

Photos also show Haitham Danaa, a young Palestinian boy, lying on the ground in the streets of Hebron after a group of settlers beat him and sprayed pepper gas in his face.

The ministry concluded Friday’s statement by declaring full responsibility for the attacks be taken by the Israeli government, which has yet to initiate any punitive measures to deter the settlers, nor has it protected the Palestinians.

Source: Palestine Monitor