(September 29, 2021) In response to the news that Jewish settlers carried out violent attacks against Palestinians and their villages in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, New Israel Fund in the US released the following statement:
These acts of violence are unconscionable. Palestinian men, women and children were attacked last Tuesday in their homes and olive groves by large groups of coordinated settlers. These attacks took place in the South Hebron Hills, located in Area C of the West Bank (where Israel maintains civil and military control). Area C has seen a substantial rise in illegal settlement building and settler violence in recent months.
NIF-supported activists and organizations are protesting these actions, standing together to change a broken system, end the occupation, and to say no to violence and racism. In the days after the attack, NIF grantee Tag Meir* organized a hospital visit to a three-year-old Palestinian child who was struck on head with a rock as he slept, as well as a visit to one of the villages that was attacked, standing in solidarity with the victims in their grief and pain. Other grantees, like Yesh Din, have worked for years to hold settlers criminally accountable for terrorist acts like these. Just last week, Yesh Din published a paper describing settler violence as a tactic designed to instill fear and terror so that Palestinians ultimately leave their land, paving the way for more illegal settlement expansion. And NIF grantee Breaking the Silence brings the first-hand experience of IDF veterans who have served in places like the South Hebron Hills to the Israeli public, putting the full cost of the occupation to Palestinians and Israelis alike on display.
The images of families sitting terrified inside their homes as armed settlers shatter windows and overturn cars are upsetting and horrific. We know that the system of occupation and defense of the settlement enterprise perpetuates and enables these kinds of horrors. The day will come when the occupation will end. Until then, NIF grantees will continue work to bend the arc toward justice.
* = NIFC project partner