newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Violence against Judea and Samaria Arabs drops significantly

The decrease took place across the whole spectrum of offenses.

Jews raise Israeli flags on Mount Ebal in Nablus while on a visit to the altar of Joshua ben Nun during the Sukkot holiday, Oct. 02, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Jews raise Israeli flags on Mount Ebal in Nablus while on a visit to the altar of Joshua ben Nun during the Sukkot holiday, Oct. 02, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

The Biden administration and senior Israeli officials have recently lamented that there are Jews living in Judea and Samaria who have been “taking the law into their own hands” during the current war against Hamas, but official police statistics point to a drastic decrease in the cases of illegal activity by Israelis beyond the Green Line.

According to the figures, compared to the same period last year, there has been a decrease of almost 50% in incidents in which Jews engaged in violent offenses in Judea and Samaria. 

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

The decrease is observed 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 personnel (four compared to 10), and agricultural vandalism (97 compared to 184).

In the category of “serious attacks,” which usually concern U.S. officials the most, there were zero incidents in the measured 30 days, compared to three incidents during the same period a year earlier. 

These figures contradict the American government’s claims that there has been an increase in incidents of “extremist settler violence” in Judea and Samaria. 

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog last week and told him that it was essential to “hold extremist settlers accountable for violent acts.” President Joe Biden made similar statements to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in their recent discussions.

Netanyahu addressed the issue in a recent meeting with the heads of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

“There is a small group of people who do not represent this public, who take the law into their own hands. We are not willing to tolerate it, we are not willing to accept it, and we will act against it in every way. It causes significant international damage to the State of Israel and does not represent the public here,” the premier said.

However, he provided no data to support any uptick in violence by Israeli residents. The IDF has also said it has not discerned any such spike in violence among residents and that the overall situation mimics the October-November period in 2022.

It did, however, note that the handful of incidents that did take place this year in that period were of a more violent nature. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) declined to comment.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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