Washington calls killing of Palestinian by Israeli settlers terrorism

Ahram Online , Monday 7 Aug 2023

The US State Department has unequivocally condemned as terrorism the killing of a Palestinian by an Israeli settler, in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli settler
The UN humanitarian agency recorded 591 settler-related attacks in the occupied West Bank during the first half of 2023. AP


"We strongly condemn yesterday's terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year old Palestinian", the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

"The U.S. extends our deepest sympathies to his family & loved ones", the text added.



The U.S. State Department said in a statement late on Saturday, urging "full accountability and justice".

On Friday, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian villagers near Burqa village, throwing rocks, torching cars, and shooting dead Qusai Jamal Maatan, a 19-year-old victim, while also injuring several others.

One of the assailants, Elisha Yered acted as spokesman to a member of parliament from Israel extremist Power party, whose leader Itamar Ben-Gvir is public security Israeli minister in the coalition government. The other assailant has been identified as Yehiel Indore.

The U.S. State Department called for full accountability and justice in response to the incident.

Earlier in July, the Department expressed its concerns over rising reports of settlers' violence, which have led to at least four Palestinian communities evacuating their villages.

"Such violence has led to at least four Palestinian communities evacuating their villages. Our viewpoint is that accountability and justice should be pursued with equal rigor in all cases of extremist violence, and we expect the Israeli Government to ensure full accountability for those responsible for such attacks, including legal action and restitution for lost homes and property, as appropriate", said Vedant Patel a Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State.

A group of 24 Democrats of the U.S. House of Representatives will visit Israel and the occupied West Bank this week to discuss extremism and prospects for a two-state solution and Israel's judicial reforms, among other issues, Reuters reported on Sunday.

Incidents of violence have been on the rise in the region. The UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported on Friday that it recorded 591 settler-related attacks in the occupied West Bank during the first half of 2023, resulting in casualties and property damage among the Palestinian population.

Jens Laerke, the agency's spokesperson, revealed that this represents an average of 99 incidents every month, showing a 39-percent increase compared to the monthly average for the entirety of 2022, which was 71 incidents.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law. However, the Israeli coalition government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, includes two parties with significant support from settlers residing in the West Bank, aiming to solidify Israel's control over Palestinian territory.

The extremist Finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich said he seeks to expedite infrastructural plans to double the settler population the occupied West bank, and in May, Netanyahu passed a new budget with sweeping grants for settlements.


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