update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Leaked IDF doc shows anti-Arab violence in Judea, Samaria dropping

"This data does not surprise any of the half a million residents who live in Judea and Samaria," stated the Samaria Regional Council.

Jewish residents of Ramat Migron in the Binyamin region of Samaria, Sept. 8, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Jewish residents of Ramat Migron in the Binyamin region of Samaria, Sept. 8, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The number of violent incidents committed by Israeli Jews against Arab residents of Judea and Samaria continues to drop, according to a leaked Israel Defense Forces memo published on Monday, two weeks after Israel Police data suggested a similar trend.

The confidential document was prepared by IDF Central Command, which is responsible for Judea and Samaria, and was first reported by Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Monday.

In the first week of October, the military recorded 32 incidents of nationalist crime, including four grave attacks and 19 lesser offenses. However, in the week following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, troops registered 24 violent incidents, three of which were defined as serious.

Between Oct. 15 and Oct. 21, the number of recorded incidents dropped further, with only 10 instances of Jewish violence reported. While the number of incidents jumped to 38 between Oct. 22 and Oct. 28, the figure continued to fall in subsequent weeks.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan told Israel National News on Monday that “this remarkable data, revealed in an internal report of the Central Command, does not surprise any of the half a million residents who live in Judea and Samaria.”

“When the official data from Central Command is combined with the official data of the Israel Police’s Judea and Samaria District, which showed a dramatic decrease compared to last year, the conclusion is clear: this ‘settler violence’ campaign is a blood libel,” added Dagan.

According to Israel Police figures made public last month, compared to the same period last year there has been a decrease of 50% in incidents in which Jews engaged in violent offenses out of nationalistic motives.

In the period from Oct. 7, when the war began, to Nov. 7, the police registered 97 incidents of illegal activities attributed to Jews in that area, down from 184 offenses in the same period in 2022.

The police observed a decrease across the whole spectrum of offenses: violent clashes (20 compared to 53), “popular terrorism” (47 compared to 103), violent attacks (five compared to 10), assaults on security forces (four compared to 10) and agricultural vandalism (97 compared to 184).

In the category of “serious attacks,” police officers recorded zero incidents in the measured 30 days, compared to three incidents during the same period a year earlier.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that Washington is preparing to announce a series of visa bans against Israelis involved in violent acts against Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

The sanctions are expected to be announced as early as Tuesday, Axios reported.

The announcement is expected to only include the number of Israelis being banned from the United States, rather than their names, an Israeli official told local media, explaining that the Biden administration believes that the anonymity will serve as a deterrent.

The news came shortly after the French Foreign Ministry urged the European Union to consider sanctions against Israelis who have targeted Palestinians.

“We believe that the international community has a role to play to end these acts of violence which are extremely destabilizing for the region, but also harm the prospects for a two-state solution,” spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters on Wednesday.

In the first six months of 2023, Rescuers Without Borders (Hatzalah Judea and Samaria) recorded 3,640 acts of Palestinian and Arab terror throughout Israel, including 2,118 cases of rock-throwing, 799 fire-bombings, 18 attempted stabbings and six vehicular assaults.

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