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Settler violence ramps up as Israeli elections near

Alongside growing tensions in the West Bank and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, the number of violent clashes between settlers and Palestinians keeps growing rapidly.
Israeli settlers walk with batons as they cross a street during clashes in which Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian residents and shops in the town of Huwara, West Bank, Oct. 13, 2022.

A video clip posted on Twitter Oct. 21 shows an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier handing a settler a grenade to use against Palestinians. On Oct. 20, Meretz Knesset member Mossi Raz approached Defense Minister Benny Gantz, demanding that the soldier be court-martialed. “Not only are IDF soldiers failing in their role of stopping settler violence. On too many occasions we see them participating actively in the violence. It’s disgraceful,” Raz said.

According to official security sources, there has been a disturbing rise in violence by settlers throughout the West Bank, with over 100 incidents of nationalist crimes committed by Jews in the last 10 days alone. Most of these occurred in the northern West Bank, especially near the Palestinian village of Huwara, which has become a hot spot for clashes between settlers and Palestinians. All of this is taking place amid a sharp increase in the number of Palestinian attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, using everything from rocks to guns.

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