Since 16-year-old Israeli Ahuvia Sandak died during a police chase near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar on 21 December 2020, the number of violent settler attacks against Palestinians has sharply risen throughout the West Bank.
On 23 December 2020, at around 10:00 P.M., about 30 masked settlers arrived at the southeastern neighborhood of Jalud, a village in Nablus District, and pelted homes and cars with stones. The settlers broke a security camera and the windows of three cars. Local residents chased them and they escaped towards the outpost of Ahiya. About half an hour later, five soldiers came to the village from the direction of the outpost. They spoke with locals and took photos of the damage done to the cars. In the meantime, the settlers returned and ignored the soldiers’ instructions to keep away. The soldiers called in Border Police forces, and when they arrived about 30 minutes later, the settlers again fled towards the outpost. The forces then left, and a military jeep was posted on the outskirts of the outpost. Village residents remained out in the street until the small hours of the night to protect their property, and then returned home.
Na'im Farah ‘Abbad, a 36-year-old married father of five from Jalud, spoke about the settler attack in a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i:
On Wednesday, 23 December 2020, I was visiting my parents with my wife Rana (28) and our children (eight months to 12) in the southeastern part of the village.
At around 10:00 P.M., we were sitting in their home chatting and drinking tea, when I heard noises outside. I went out and saw 10-15 settlers by my car. They took off when they saw me, and I discovered they’d broken all the windows. I heard my cousin Muhammad, who lives near my parents, yelling: “Settlers! Settlers are breaking cars!” I followed him with some other cousins of mine, and I saw about 30 settlers running towards the outpost of Ahiya. It looked like they’d split into two groups – one damaged my car, and the other damaged Muhammad’s car.
We ran after them but kept about a 200-meter distance, because we were scared they’d shoot us. They ran off, and we went back to our homes. Because of the yelling, all the residents of the neighborhood came out of their houses. When I got back, my wife was outside, too. She told me my mother had fainted, apparently from the stress and fear. She’s a diabetic and has high blood pressure. My brother Nassim and I drove her to hospital in Nablus, where they examined her and then released her.
Muhammad ‘Abbad (37), a married father of six from Jalud, also spoke about that night in a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb'i:
About half an hour after the attack, while we were still standing outside, about five or six soldiers came from the direction of the Ahiya outpost. They asked about what happened and took pictures of the cars. One of them spoke Arabic well, and they left soldiers in a military jeep around to keep watch.
While the soldiers were in the village, the settlers came back and got up to about 100 meters away from our houses. The soldiers yelled at them but didn’t stop them from approaching. They called a Border Police force, which came about half an hour later. It was only then that the settlers left. The soldiers and Border Police officers left the village and kept a military jeep on the outskirts of the outpost.
We stayed in the yard and didn’t go back inside until 3:00 A.M. It was cold and by then, I couldn’t see the jeep anymore. It must have driven off.
We’ve been on constant alert ever since that day, afraid of another attack. I can’t sleep at night. I’m worried they’ll surprise us and this time, torch the cars or one of the houses. Thank God the kids were asleep during the attack; otherwise, they would have been very frightened. I asked my wife not to let them play in the yard or in the village with other kids, like they usually do.
The outpost of Ahiya was established in 2015 about a kilometer away from Jalud.