Wednesday

13th Dec 2017

EU report notes huge increase in Jewish settler attacks

  • Armed settler and Israeli soldiers speak to Palestinian farmer in the West Bank (Photo: delayed gratification)

EU countries' ambassadors in Ramallah have said Israeli authorities are not doing enough to stop a massive increase in attacks by Jewish extremists against Palestinians.

The heads of mission in an internal three-page report dated February 2012 - and seen by EUobserver - noted there were 411 assaults last year compared to 266 in 2010 and 132 in 2009.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The attacks varied from gunfire to throwing stones and garbage, including at Palestinian schoolchildren, as well as burning homes and mosques, killing livestock and uprooting olive trees. They caused three deaths and 183 injuries last year. Some 10,000 mostly olive trees were destroyed.

On the other side, Palestinians killed eight Jews - including one entire family - and injured 37. But the EU report said "there has been no widespread response from the Palestinian side."

The EU diplomats depicted settler attacks as part of a broader Israeli campaign to get rid of the Palestinians, saying they "effectively force a withdrawal of the Palestinian population away from the vicinity of settlements, thereby increasing the scope for settlement expansion."

Some settlers follow religious teachings which say a greater Israel should encompass all of Gaza and the West Bank, the Sinai peninsula in Egypt, Lebanon and parts of Syria and Turkey, and that their actions will speed up the coming of the Messiah.

Just 1,200 Jews lived in the West Bank before Israel occupied it in 1967. But 310,000 live there now in over 220 settlements, about half of which are said to be legal by Israel but all of which are illegal under the Geneva Conventions.

The EU report said over 90 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians ended with no indictment. The complaints are not easy to make because in most cases Palestinians have to go to police stations inside Jewish settlements and conduct formalities in Hebrew.

Meanwhile, Jews and Palestinians live under two different legal regimes in the occupied territory - if a Jew throws a stone at a Palestinian it is treated as a misdemeanour under civil law, but if a Palestinian throws one, it is treated as an act of terrorism under military law.

The report added that settler attacks are carried out by a small "hardcore" group. But despite its security apparatus "the Israeli state ... has so far failed to protect the Palestinian population."

An earlier eight-page EU report on the subject dated April 2011 - also seen by this website - said Israel has created an "atmosphere of impunity" for Jewish attackers, amounting to "tacit approval by the state" and proposed that the worst perpetrators should be denied EU visas.

For its part, the Netherlands declined to endorse the February 2012 paper, forcing the other 21 EU top diplomats in Ramallah to add the footnote: "the NL [Netherlands] places a general reserve on the document."

The Netherlands routinely scotches fellow EU countries' ideas on how to make Israel pay a higher price for what is going on. But the reports still have weight because they establish political facts which underlie behind-closed-doors discussions on the Middle East in Brussels and in EU capitals.

Settler violence is a sore point with Israeli diplomats because it harms one of their central messages - that Israel is a normal Western democracy surrounded by basket-case Arab dictatorships.

For his part, a senior Israeli official told EUobserver the leaked paper will damage the EU's image in the minds of the Israeli public because it does not devote equal space to Palestinian violence against Jews.

"It's unacceptable. We had numerous cases over the past year when Israeli citizens, including schoolchildren, were brutally murdered by Palestinians and I think for the Israeli public these reports would have more credibility if they were more neutral," he said.

He added that Israel has set up a police task force to curb settler attacks and that Israeli leaders have spoken out in "wall-to-wall condemnation" of their actions.

The EU report acknowledged that Israeli soldiers last year helped prevent assaults during the Palestinian olive harvest - a traditional flashpoint.

EU to finance Palestinian water plant

EU foreign policy chief Ashton has agreed to finance a waste-water treatment plant and to upgrade a border crossing in the Israeli-occupied territories.

Feature

Lebanon crisis overshadows EU aid for Syrian refugees

Lebanon hosts over one million Syrian refugees, and has received some €1bn in EU funds. Caught in a geo-political tug of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Lebanon's domestic politics have cast a longer shadow over its Syrian 'guests'.

EU complicit in Libyan torture, says Amnesty

The EU and its members states have signed up to 'Faustian pact' with Libyan authorities in the their effort to prevent migrant and refugee boat departures towards Italy, says Amnesty International.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Pro-Kremlin trolls targeted Scottish referendum
  2. MEPs vote to allow phosphate additives in kebabs
  3. Babis government sworn in in Czech Republic
  4. Russia looks to crypto-currencies to evade EU sanctions
  5. Juncker embroiled in Luxembourg wire-tapping trial
  6. Kurz close to forming new Austrian right-wing government
  7. Ministers reach deal on fish quotas but overfishing continues
  8. UK parliament to vote on right to veto final Brexit deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  2. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  3. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  4. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  7. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  8. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  9. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  10. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  11. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  12. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe

Latest News

  1. Tusk migration note prompts institutional 'hysteria'
  2. Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short
  3. Brits in EU-27 are uncertain, alone and far from protected
  4. 2018 fishing quotas agreed - but Brexit muddies waters
  5. Medical HQ to spearhead EU military push
  6. Facebook to shift ad revenue away from Ireland
  7. EU renews glyphosate approval, pledges transparency
  8. Romania searching for EU respectability

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage
  2. Centre Maurits CoppietersCelebrating Diversity, Citizenship and the European Project With Fundació Josep Irla
  3. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceUnderstanding the Social Consequences of Obesity
  4. Union for the MediterraneanMediterranean Countries Commit to Strengthening Women's Role in Region
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesRegistration for BBI JU Stakeholder Forum about to close. Last chance to register!
  6. European Heart NetworkThe Time Is Ripe for Simplified Front-Of-Pack Nutrition Labelling
  7. Counter BalanceNew EU External Investment Plan Risks Sidelining Development Objectives
  8. EU2017EEEAS Calls for Eastern Partnership Countries to Enter EU Market Through Estonia
  9. Dialogue PlatformThe Turkey I No Longer Know
  10. World Vision7 Million Children at Risk in the DRC: Donor Meeting to Focus on Saving More Lives
  11. EPSU-Eurelectric-IndustriAllElectricity European Social Partners Stand up for Just Energy Transition
  12. European Friends of ArmeniaSignature of CEPA Marks a Fresh Start for EU-Armenia Relations