3 March 2011: B'Tselem to authorities: Deploy to protect Palestinians from expected settler violence

Published: 
2 Mar 2011

Yesterday (3 March '11), B'Tselem wrote to the minister of defense, OC Central Command, and the commander of the Israel Police’s SHAI District requesting their urgent action to ensure that security forces are properly deployed in advance of violence by settlers actions against Palestinians and their property, which is expected to occur today, a “Day of Rage” proclaimed by settlers in reaction to the demolition of structures in the Havat Gilad outpost in the West Bank.

The burnt contents of a house torched in Huwara. Settlers are suspected of the act. Salma a-Deb'I, B'Tselem, 1 March '11
The burnt contents of a house torched in Huwara. Settlers are suspected of the act. Salma a-Deb'I, B'Tselem, 1 March '11

B'Tselem documented four acts of violence committed on the day of the demolitions alone (28 Feb. '11), that, it is suspected, were a response to the demolitions. These incidents included the torching of a house in Huwara, the rolling of burning tires down from the Yitzhar settlement to the Palestinian villages Burin and ‘Einabus, and the shattering of car windows in Hebron.

Settlers roll burning tires from the Yitzhar settlement to the Palestinian villages Burin and 'Einabus below. Footage: B'Tselem camera project, 28 Feb. '11.
Settlers roll burning tires from the Yitzhar settlement to the Palestinian villages Burin and 'Einabus below. Footage: B'Tselem camera project, 28 Feb. '11.

In the letter, B'Tselem also noted that, during the demolitions and in the hours that followed, additional forces were deployed in the area and several arrests were made of persons suspected of committing violence. While this deployment is welcome, the fact that settlers still managed to carry out violent acts at a number of locations shows that deployment is needed on a larger scale.