Nablus, MINA – Following the increase in Israeli settler violence in the West Bank, the Head of the European Mission and representatives from member states of the West Bank Protection Consortium (WBPC), as well as like-minded countries, on Thursday visited the village of Beita, near the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
For months the village of Beita has been in a daily struggle against Israeli settlement plans on their village land, Wafa reported.
The delegation included the Head of Mission and representatives from Belgium, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
A statement by the delegation and Ireland said the visit was in response to growing concerns – across the West Bank and in Beita in particular – about rising levels of settler violence and to touch on the alarming establishment of illegal settlement posts above Jabal Sabih, on the outskirts of the village of Beita, which causes regular clashes between Palestinians, Israeli settlers and Israeli troops.
Six Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces and hundreds more injured since early May 2021.
During the visit, participants heard from local residents, WBPC partners, and the Commission on Colonization and Resistance of the Wall about developments on the ground, which often resulted in violent incidents as residents lived near settlement outposts.
Palestinian residents told the audience how they feared further land loss and more settler violence.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the total number of settler attacks in the West Bank resulting in injury and/or property damage in 2021 has increased 46 percent compared to the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization, reported that 96 percent of investigations by Israeli authorities into acts of settler violence did not lead to the filing of charges.
Visiting Beita, British Consul General Diane Corner said, “We condemn every incident of settler violence against Palestinians. We urge the Israeli authorities to deal with settler violence and thoroughly investigate each incident, to bring those responsible to justice and end the culture of impunity.”
“The UK’s position on settlements is clear: settlements are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace, and threaten the physical viability of the two-state solution,” he added. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)