Settlers throw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Nablus; driver hospitalized

About 15 settlers seen hurling rocks, smashing windshields and spraying tear gas at Palestinian cars near Bizzariya, according to Yesh Din

Security camera footage supposedly showing a Jewish settler attack at Bizzariya Junction (Nablus Governorate), on February 11, 2024 ( (Social media/X; Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Some 15 Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles on Sunday near the West Bank village of Bizzariya, northwest of Nablus, according to the Israeli human rights watchdog Yesh Din.

In one incident, the settlers smashed the windshield of a car and sprayed the Palestinian driver with tear gas, the Haaretz daily reported, adding that the driver was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

It followed an instance on Thursday in which masked settlers threw stones at Palestinians at the Bizzariya junction, as seen on film shot by security cameras.

According to Yesh Din, 2023 was the most violent year on record in terms of settler violence since the watchdog began tracking statistics in 2006. At least 10 Palestinians were killed by settlers, the watchdog said, and dozens of homes were torched. The violence rose sharply following Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw 1,200 people killed, most of them civilians, and 253 kidnapped.

In the wake of the increase in settler violence, the Israel Defense Forces held a drill last week that simulated settlers kidnapping a Palestinian. The drill outraged the settler community and Israeli right, who claimed that such a scenario was unrealistic, leading IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi to issue an apology. Such instances, however, have occurred in the past.

Following criticism over its support of Israel in its war against Hamas, the Biden administration enforced sanctions two weeks ago against four extremist settlers accused of using violence against Palestinians.

The sanctions will block designated individuals from access to the US financial system, blocking them from any type of property in the US and freezing any property that they might already own. The sanctions will also include a ban on entry to the US.

In October, the Shin Bet warned the government that the increase in settler attacks may cause an eruption of violence committed by Palestinians.

The West Bank has been under Israeli military rule since the 1967 Six Day War, while the Palestinian Authority has controlled parts of the territory since 1994.

About 490,000 settlers live among approximately 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank in settlements that are widely considered illegal under international law.

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