In a recent and unsettling report, Maouid Shaaban, the head of the Resistance Against the Wall and Colonization Committee, revealed an alarming surge in Israeli attacks and settlement activities in the Palestinian territories during September 2023.
A Wave of Hostility Sweeps Across Palestine
A staggering total of 923 attacks were carried out during this period, leaving Palestinian communities reeling.
These attacks encompassed a spectrum of aggression, ranging from direct assaults on civilians to the destruction of land, invasion of villages, uprooting trees, and seizure of property.
Jerusalem bore the brunt of the aggression, with 181 attacks registered, while Nablus closely followed with 144 attacks. Hebron and Salfit also endured their share of violence, with 101 attacks each.
Settler Militias: Architects of Chaos
Notably, 123 of these attacks were orchestrated by Israeli settlers, demonstrating a distressing trend of extremist settler activity.
Among these incidents were organized and severe assaults that spanned multiple regions, including Massafer Yatta in Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Jericho.
This month, Nablus and Hebron became epicenters of settler-initiated attacks, with 40 and 22 incidents, respectively.
Perhaps even more concerning is the clear financial support provided by the Israeli government to settler militias.
These funds are channeled into rural centers, effectively transforming them into launchpads for extremist youth groups responsible for these acts of aggression.
This symbiotic relationship between the official government and settler militias raises serious questions about accountability.
Demolition Notices: A Chilling Record
Demolition notices reached a chilling record of 168 during this month. These notices, which include demolition orders, construction cessation, and eviction notices, foreshadow a wave of impending demolitions.
The majority of these notices were directed at Salfit (83), Nablus (28), and Jericho (27), signaling potential destruction in the near future.
Recent campaigns to distribute these notices have been strategically concentrated in the Salfit governorate.
This deliberate targeting is part of a wider effort to isolate Palestinian villages and towns, bolstering Israeli settlement expansion in the region.
Demolition Operations and Tree Uprooting
Israeli forces executed 28 demolition operations, resulting in the destruction of 74 structures and livelihoods.
The environmental impact was equally devastating, with 728 trees ruthlessly cut down and uprooted.
Salfit witnessed the brunt of this ecological devastation, with 335 trees lost, followed by Hebron with 153.
Settlement Expansion Plans: A Bleak Outlook
The report sheds light on Israeli authorities’ consideration of 16 structural plans aimed at further expanding settlements.
These plans envision the construction of 816 settlement units across 4,414 dunams of Palestinian land.
Shockingly, five of these expansion plans have already received approval, targeting 684 settlement units over 204 dunams of Palestinian territory. An additional 11 plans are in the pipeline, seeking to allocate 4,000 dunams for even more settlement expansion.
The alarming escalation of Israeli attacks and settlement expansion in Palestine paints a bleak picture of Palestine’s future stability.
These developments threaten Palestinian livelihoods and challenge the principles of international law and human rights.