B’Tselem Accuses Israel Government of Backing Pogrom in West Bank Town of Huwara

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has accused Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of backing a pogrom in the West Bank town of Huwara. On Sunday night, Jewish settlers attacked the town, burning cars and homes and killing Sameh Aqtash, a Palestinian man who had recently returned from Turkey where he volunteered to help after the earthquake. B’Tselem said, “The Jewish Supremacist regime carried out a pogrom in the villages around Nablus yesterday. This isn’t 'loss of control.' This is exactly what Israeli control looks like. The settlers carry out the attack, the military secures it, the politicians back it. It’s a synergy.” The Israeli publication +972 magazine reports the Israeli military allowed the rampaging settlers to walk into Huwara “on foot, while preventing journalists, medics, and Palestinian aid workers from doing the same.” According to The Times of Israel, eight settlers were initially detained but all have been released. This is Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh: “Undoubtedly, this is a war against the Palestinian people, an inclusive war that is backed by the Israeli government. These settlers’ attacks are part of the policy of the government in spite that some try to deny it. These crimes will not pass without penalty, and Israelis shall be held responsible for all that happens. And so does the military. And the American administration, who also backs this government, should stop all this violence and all these crimes. The Palestinian people shall not be defeated or back out, and we will chase after them in all the international platforms.”

The settler attack in Huwara came hours after a Palestinian gunman shot dead two brothers from a nearby settlement. That shooting came four days after Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinians and injured 500 in a daytime raid of Nablus. In the latest violence in the West Bank, an Israeli-American named Elan Ganeles was shot dead Monday while driving near Jericho.