“Settler violence against Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has been rising since the beginning of 2017, according to the UN,” reported the Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Sufian Taha on Sunday (‘It was terror’: Palestinians decry rise in attacks by Israeli settlers), largely citing verbatim a report of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) from November 16. “This year 60 incidents attributed to settlers have resulted in Palestinian casualties and 157 in damage to Palestinian property. This is a 175% increase since 2016 and the highest number since a peak four years ago.”
There are two problems with the OCHA report and the consequent Guardian article: they rely on reports by anti-Israeli NGOs such as Yesh Din, whose relationship with the truth is scant at best and which are actively involved in anti-Israeli propaganda and provocations; and they misrepresent shamelessly the realities of Arab violence in Judea and Samaria.
Even the Guardian and OCHA agree that “the incidents often follow violence by Palestinians against Israelis in the West Bank: 144 such cases of violence were reported in 2018, 33% lower than the year before but involving seven killings, higher than in 2017.”
As the OCHA report put it: “Some of the peaks in settler violence against Palestinians recorded this year occurred within two or three days immediately after the killing of Israeli settlers by Palestinians and were presumably in retaliation.”
Incidentally, the OCHA report includes one blatant lie: “In the most recent incident, on 12 October, a 45-year-old Palestinian woman, mother of eight, was killed and her husband injured after being stoned when driving through the Za’atra/Tapuach checkpoint in the northern West Bank. Although the assailants remain unknown, Israeli security sources indicated that there is a ‘high probability’ that they are Israeli settlers.” Not necessarily. Indications in that case pointed to the husband as the most likely perpetrator.
The husband offered at least three different versions of the event, one with three attackers who spoke Hebrew, one with a single perpetrator. He didn’t see any of the attackers but could hear their conversation in Hebrew. Arab reports had as many as “dozens” of Jewish attackers. And the incident took place on Friday night, in the most religious Jewish enclave in Israel after B’nei B’rak and Beitar Illit.
We don’t know for certain who killed poor Aisha Rabi, but for both OCHA and the Guardian to ignore Police misgivings about the case is heavily biased reporting. Yet that event takes up about half of the Guardian story, which questions how come the case of the murder of two Israelis in the Barkan industrial zone was solved so quickly, while this one is still pending – but mentions nothing about police doubts regarding the husband’s involvement. In fact, the husband stars in much of the Guardian report.
Finally, here’s where both the Guardian and the UN reports reveal their ugly, anti-Semitic core: they ignore the numbers posted by the IDF regarding Arab violence in Judea and Samaria in 2018:
Stone throwing at Israeli soldiers and civilians – 2,057
Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli soldiers and civilians – 893
Shootings – 33
Stabbing – 17
Smuggled cash to finance terrorism – 2,156,089 shekel ($571,721.88)
Illegal weapons (not including BB guns) – 406
The UN report does mention that three Arabs were killed by Israelis while seven Israelis were killed by Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Two of the killed Arabs had just killed or attempted to kill Israelis when they were shot dead.