Documenting Extremist Settler Violence

17 March 2021

On March 13, NIF grantee B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories posted a harrowing video clip on Twitter of an attack on Palestinian villagers in the West Bank by Jewish settlers.

Last Saturday, about 10 settlers, with masks and armed with batons, attacked members of the Alyan family from Um Lasafa, while they were working in their fields with their eight children near the Jewish settlement of Mitzpe Yair, in the South Hebron Hills. The attackers cursed them, threw stones and beat the Palestinian family with their batons. The father and mother were both injured and rushed to a hospital in Hebron, where the father underwent surgery on an injury to his jaw. The clip clearly shows the mother of the family being hit and the family car’s windshield smashed.

The Alyan family owns a plot of land near Mitzpe Yair, a settlement that Israel defines as an “illegal outpost” Settlers there regularly prevent the family from accessing their land. The family provided B’tselem with video footage of the assault.

The police, who arrived late on the scene long after the assailants fled, opened an investigation into the matter. However, it is unlikely that any arrests will be made. According to research by NIF grantee, Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights, only 8% of investigations into ideologically motivated crimes against Palestinians led to the filing of indictments – and 91% of investigations into such crimes were closed without an indictment being filed. NIF grantees have documented an increasing number of such attacks in the South Hebron Hills in recent months, according to B’Tselem, Yesh Din, and Haqel: In Defense of Human Rights. NIF is supporting Haqel, which provides legal aid for more than 5,000 residents of the area, in its response to intensified settler violence and other infringements of residents’ rights by the IDF and Civil Administration.