SCORES of armed Israeli settlers attacked the homes of Palestinians in the village of Sebastia in the occupied West Bank province of Nablus on Saturday night.
The Zionist settlers, armed with rifles, opened fire and pelted the homes with stones. Hundreds of local residents rushed to the scene to fend off the attacks, clashing with settlers and with Israeli army patrols sent in to protect the settlers and ensure they could withdraw to safety.
This attack followed yet another by Israeli settlers on the neighbouring village of Burqa. This swiftly escalated into a clash between Palestinian residents and Israeli occupation forces sent in to protect the attacking settlers. At least 58 Burqa Palestinians were injured, including ten by gunfire.
Over the past ten days Israeli settlers, protected by the army, have repeatedly attacked or attempted to attack the homes of Palestinians in the villages of Burqa, Sebastia and Bazariya. Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal colonial settlements across the West Bank in violation of international law.
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said: ‘Settler violence and vandalism takes place with the full backing of the Israeli authorities.’ The group added: ‘Israel benefits from the repercussions, as settler violence has gradually dispossessed Palestinians of more and more areas in the West Bank, paving the way for a state takeover of land and resources.’
The Palestinian news network Ma’an slammed the settler attacks on unarmed civilians and Palestinian towns and villages, carried out under the protection of the occupying Israeli troops, as ‘systematic’ and ‘de facto crimes’.
In a statement, Ma’an identified villages and towns in the northern West Bank and dozens of sites that, over the past few days have been subject to an escalation of settler attacks in ‘an open and systematic war, which is not individual or separate from a continuing context of attacks and ethnic cleansing that also includes the city of Jerusalem, its surroundings, its holy sites and other Palestinian territories.’
The statement stressed that the United Nations has been called upon to take ‘urgent measures for international protection and also to work in every available way to oblige the occupying power to stop its war crimes against the Palestinian people, to provide all necessary steps to support our people to remain in their land and to work to stop all actions aimed at emptying the land of its indigenous population.’
The statement ended by calling for the formation of a ‘broad international front to end the occupation, and expand international solidarity campaigns with our people and their legitimate rights’ and to ‘prosecute and hold the occupying power accountable for its continued terrorism.’
It also condemned the ‘international silence’ from Western governments which Israel sees as a ‘green light’ for its plans to drive Palestinians out of their homes and land. The Zionist regime was given the green light when the United States government of Donald Trump signed a declaration in 2019 that recognised Israeli ‘sovereignty’ over Syria’s Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights are recognised by the United Nations and international law as being Syrian territory seized by Israel over 50 years ago.
The recognition of Israeli ‘sovereignty’ over the land has been reinforced by the new administration of president Biden that has stated it would not reverse this decision.
At the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told his ministers that he intends to double the number of settlers in the occupied Golan Heights with a multi-million dollar plan to consolidate Israel’s hold on the territory.
Israel is not a legitimate state, it is an occupying regime that was created by, and exists as an outpost of, imperialism to wage war against the Palestinian people while also acting as the imperialist attack dog against Iran, Syria and the Arab masses.
The only way forward is for the working class of the world, who overwhelmingly support the Palestinian struggle, to organise general strikes in support of Palestine, and to act against the common imperialist enemy that is supporting the persecution of Palestinians because they want to grab all of the oil wealth of the Middle East and Iran.
These imperialist regimes must be overthrown with socialist revolutions. This will create the conditions for the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, in a secular, socialist, independent state where Muslims, Christians and Jews will live in peace, side by side.