March 14, 2012
Israel not halting settler attacks on Palestinians, EU report says
Israel is not doing enough to stop the large increase in attacks on Palestinians by Jewish extremists, according to an internal European Union report.
The report by the 22 heads of mission of EU countries’ ambassadors in Ramallah said there were 411 assaults in 2011, compared to 266 in 2010 and 132 in 2009, according to Euobserver.com, which saw the report. The Netherlands was the lone country that refused to endorse the report.
The attacks ranged from throwing stones to gunfire, and uprooting olive trees to burning mosques. Three Palestinians were reported dead and 183 injured by the attacks.
Eight Jewish settlers, including five members of the Fogel family, were killed and 37 injured.
The report said that a small “hard-core” group of Jewish settlers carried out the attacks, according to Euobserver. But the diplomats also called the settler attacks 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.”
The EU report said that more than 90 percent of complaints filed by Palestinians ended with no indictment.
Israel has set up a police task force to stop settler attacks and Israeli leaders have roundly condemned such attacks, an Israeli official told Euobserver. The EU report also acknowledged that Israeli soldiers helped prevent attacks during the Palestinian olive harvest last year.