WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Crowds of Zionist settlers attacked and wounded Palestinians while torching their vehicles, in the latest assault against farmers in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian media reported that settlers from Adei Ad illegal settlement, northeast of Ramallah, assaulted Palestinians working on their land between Turmus Ayya and al-Mughayyir villages in the center of the West Bank.
Settlers threw stones and fired bullets at farmers, wounding at least five people. One of the victims is in a serious condition after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers who accompanied the settlers.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said four injuries were a result of beatings and stones thrown by settlers. Those victims are in a stable condition.
Around 270 bales of hay and five cars parked on the side of the fields were torched, according to Marzouq Abu Naim, a councillor at al-Mughayyir village.
Abu Naim said that Zionist troops stormed the area “to provide protection for the settlers”, leading to clashes between young men and soldiers.
Amin Abu Alia, the president of al-Mughayyir village council, said that “settlers used live bullets, stones and sticks” in the assault.
“The Israeli army intervened to protect the settlers, firing teargas canisters at the Palestinian farmers,” he added.
Abu Alia said the two main entrances to al-Mughayyir, which has been repeatedly attacked by settlers over the years, have remained blocked by the Israeli military for two weeks, forcing residents to take long and rough roads to reach their workplaces.
The European Union Delegation to the Palestinians said it was “appalled” by the settler attacks.
“The EU condemns settler violence and calls on Israel to take decisive steps to ensure accountability and protect the Palestinian civilian population in line with its obligations under international law,” it said in a Tweet.
While Zionist settler violence against Palestinians is common in the West Bank, attacks have grown at an alarming rate in recent years, according to UN human rights experts.
UN figures show settler attacks have been on a year-to-year upward trend since 2016, with at least 849 attacks recorded in 2022 - 228 of which led to casualties.
Human rights groups have previously accused Zionist regime authorities of enabling settler violence and failing to prosecute offenders or protect Palestinians.
“Armed and masked Israeli settlers are attacking Palestinians in their homes, attacking children on their way to school, destroying property and burning olive groves, and terrorizing entire communities with complete impunity,” UN experts said last year.