PLO: Settler violence on rise

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

JERICHO (Ma'an) -- A PLO report on settler violence said Friday that a sharp increase in assaults on Palestinians and vandalism of property was recorded for October. According to the report, Palestinians in the West Bank reported a total of 277 cases of settler violence from August through October 2010, with a sharp increase in incidents in the last weeks of October. "While Israeli settler violence against Palestinians is a daily occurrence in the occupied Palestinian territory, the past three months have seen a steady increase in settler violence against Palestinian civilians and property to coincide with the annual olive harvest," the report said.

The report was released a week after four Israeli rights groups sent a letter to Israeli military officials in the West Bank, including Central Command Chief General Avi Mizrahi and commander of Israeli military forces in the West Bank Brigadier Nitzan Alon. The letter detailed the settler assaults of Palestinians harvesting olives, and outlined expectations for halting the abuses.

The PLO report also noted the prevalence of weapons amongst settlers, adding that private weapons were frequently used against Palestinians during confrontations.