Settlers arrested after Palestinian man killed in attack on Burqa; Israeli guard killed in terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Settler attacks on Palestinian people and property in the West Bank have increased sharply this year, with nearly 600 such incidents registered by the UN since January.
The UN humanitarian agency OCHA has recorded 591 settler-related incidents in the territory in the first six months of 2023 resulting in Palestinian casualties, property damage, or both.
“That’s an average of 99 incidents every month, and a 39 per cent increase compared with the monthly average of the whole of 2022, which is 71,” spokesperson Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva.
“The number of such incidents in 2022 was already the highest since we started recording them in 2006,” he said.
The latest incident occurred on Friday when Qusai Jamal Matan, a 19-year-old Palestinian man, was fatally shot in the neck in the West Bank town of Burqa, close to Ramallah.
Two Israeli settlers were arrested and another five detained on Saturday over suspected involvement in the killing. Elisha Yered and Yehiel Indore are suspected of causing death either on purpose or by negligence, a felony equivalent to murder, as well as obstruction of justice. Their attorney claims the two acted in self defence.
Yered is a former spokesperson for the Itamar Ben-Gvir’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party. Indore was seriously injured in the fighting. Both are residents of the illegal West Bank outpost of Migron.
Israel Police and army forces also arrested five Palestinians on Sunday night for their suspected involvement in the clashes.
No ministers or members of the governing coalition condemned the killing. On Sunday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the settlers deserve praise: “Anyone who defends himself from stone-throwing should receive a commendation.” He added that he hopes for a “thorough investigation also of the Arab rioters who threw stones and tried to murder Jews.”
Terror attack in Tel Aviv
A Tel Aviv municipal patrol officer was killed in a terror shooting in a bustling area of Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, police and medics said. The gunman, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, was shot dead by the patrol officer’s colleague.
Chen Amir, 42, was critically hurt after being shot in the head. He was taken to the nearby Ichilov Hospital, where medical officials declared his death.
“Chen… was killed while preventing with his body a larger attack and in his death saved many lives,” a statement from the hospital said.
Coalition Knesset member, Limor Son Har-Melech of Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party compared the murder of the Palestinian to the guard killed in a terror attack in Tel Aviv.
“When a patrolman neutralises a terrorist, he garners praise from defence officials. But when a Jew defends his life from an Arab mob in [the West Bank], he’s arrested while wounded,” Son Har-Melech said.
Terrorist attack prevented
Three suspected terrorists were killed by Israeli forces inside a vehicle on Sunday. The Israel Defense Forces said that security forces stopped a “terrorist cell” in the Jenin area on their way to carry out an attack.
Seventeen other Palestinians were arrested on Sunday night suspicion of involvement in terrorism in the West Bank.
UN agency reports nearly 600 settler attacks over past six months (Times of Israel)
Terrorist kills patrolman in Tel Aviv, is shot dead by 2nd officer (Times of Israel)
A quarter of Palestinians jailed in Israel are imprisoned without charges or trial (Haaretz)
Head of Centre for the Defence of the Individual says situation “unprecedented and worrying.” Israeli army says: “The number of administrative detainees reflects the security threat posed by each detainee”.
Smotrich reportedly freezes millions earmarked for Arab towns (Times of Israel)
Shas Interior Minister Moshe Arbel said to warn Finance Minister of potential harm to local municipal budgets if he does not release funds – to no avail.
Thousands of Jews and Arabs march in Tel Aviv against government inaction on violence in Israeli Arab community (Haaretz)
Demonstrators carried with them dozens of coffins symbolizing the 141 Arab homicides that have happened since the beginning of 2023.
How the rise and shocking fall of a yeshiva offers a dire warning for Israel (Haaretz)
A new Israeli documentary examines a unique high school that for 60 years sought to give its students unprecedented freedom, but whose collapse highlights a major crisis within the religious Zionist community. The same crisis that brought us settlers who torch Palestinian villages.
Photo: Mourners cry after taking the last look at the body of Qusai Matan, 19, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Burqa, on Saturday. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)