For Palestinian self defense!

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 30.06.2023

Between 600,000 and 750,000 Israeli settlers live in at least 250 illegal settlements and outposts built by the Israeli government and settlers across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The vast majority of Israeli settlements were built either partially or entirely on private Palestinian land. The settlers are not simply thieves but also a military arm of the Zionist apartheid state that is used for pogroms while the government and the army can say it is not the Zionist state but uncontrolled settlers.

The last pogrom was on Turmus Aya on Wednesday, June 21, 2023. According to WAFA news – Hundreds of Israeli settlers, many of them armed, attacked the peaceful Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya, northeast of Ramallah, setting homes and vehicles of Palestinians on fire, The residents of the town said the settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, used brutal force against the unarmed town’s residents, attacking people, their homes and vehicles while soldiers provided protection to the settlers and jointed in the attack on the town by firing tear gas canisters at the homes causing dozens of suffocation cases.

In February, hundreds of Israeli settlers carried out what was described as a “pogrom” across a number of Palestinian villages in the Nablus area, during which one Palestinian man was killed by the settlers and dozens of homes and cars set ablaze. At least 390 Palestinians were injured in the attack.

In May, an entire Palestinian community in Ramallah was forcibly displaced due to settler attacks and Israeli army restriction.

The Settler growing attacks take place against the backdrop of a re-emerging Palestinian armed resistance to decades-long Israeli military occupation since 1967 that triggered deadly Israeli army raids on Palestinian towns and villages.

This pogrom came as part of a sharp increase in coordinated and armed settler attacks since October, carried out under Israeli army protection across the West Bank. They have included shootings, arson attacks, rock-throwing, and physical assault with pipes and other objects.

The Palestinian Authority has at least 70,000 armed men under its command and yet it does not use them to protect the Palestinian people but to arrest and torture young men suspected of belonging to Hamas or the PIJ.

The mass protest against Netanyahu that is saying it is for democracy does not raise demands denouncing the pogroms.

Jake Sullivan, U.S President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, called on his Israeli counterpart to hold settler rioters “accountable” for rampages in West Bank villages that have left at least one dead.

The Israeli army meanwhile said it arrested one rioter as the rampages continued on Saturday. The riots come as the Biden administration hopes to salvage its efforts to expand the Abraham Accords, the 2020 normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries.

In addition, the White House said Sullivan expressed “since condolences” for a deadly terrorist attack on Tuesday that killed four Israeli civilians, and pledged “unwavering support” for Israeli security.

This is a usual hypocrisy of American imperialism as nothing concrete will come of it.

Israel has joined this hypocrisy as Israeli security chiefs on Saturday designated settler attacks on Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank as “nationalist terrorism” that merits stepped-up countermeasures, and their remarks drew anger from far-right Cabinet ministers[1]. In the real world, the Israeli army, meanwhile said it arrested one rioter as the rampages by hundreds of Hooligans continued on Saturday

The settler terrorists know that nothing will be done against them. Israel’s far-right government on Monday, June 26, 2023, approved plans to build thousands of new homes in the occupied West Bank. Understanding the real message of the government, the settlers struck again. On June 27 three Palestinian shepherds, including a child, were injured in an attack by Israeli settlers northwest of the ancient city of Jericho, in the east of the West Bank.

“Hasan Mleihat, an activist with the Bedouin community, said settlers chased the shepherds while they were grazing their sheep in al-Melihat community, threatened them at gunpoint, and forced them to leave the pastures[2].”

What is new is that dozens of American organizations have signed a petition calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to intervene to stop the “massacres of Israeli settlers” against Palestinians in the West Bank, following their criminal attacks against people and their property.

The petition stated that the settler attacks took place under the protection of the occupation army, as the police and army protected the settlers as they stormed the villages and towns of Al-Laban Al-Sharqiya and Turmusaya, north of Ramallah, assaulting citizens and destroying their property.

The Palestinians in the West Bank are very angry with the PA

– “Either arm us or protect us,” an elderly man fervently told Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in the village of Turmus Aya in the occupied West Bank hours after hundreds of Israeli settlers carried out a vicious attack there last week.In a video that went viral, the man, whose home was among 30 houses and 60 cars torched in the attack on June 21, held the Palestinian Authority (PA) responsible for failing to protect Palestinians[3]”

“You have 70,000 armed men. Distribute them across our villages,” he roared.

“Another Palestinian, Omar Qattin, a 27-year-old father of two, was killed and dozens of others injured. It is not clear whether Qattin was killed by a settler or an Israeli soldier.The same day, another resident of Turmus Aya interrupted an Al Jazeera Arabic live broadcast from the village to make one comment: “I have a message for [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas: If you are not up to the task of protecting your people, step down.” [4]

Residents and analysts in the West Bank say while they do not believe the PA has the military capabilities – nor the political will – to confront the Israeli army, the least they could do is create mechanisms to protect the residents against further attacks.

“Protecting the people should be at the top of the priorities of the PA. They should not be leaving people to face the settlers on their own, with their bare bodies,” Ameed Desouki, a member of the local council of Burqa village in Nablus which recently was the target of large-scale settler attacks, told Al Jazeera.“People are sitting there waiting to be slaughtered like sheep during Eid al-Adha,” he added, referring to the Muslim festival this week” [5]

Mansour says to Al Jazeera that In every area in Burqa, there are young men from the security services. The PA must make these people available. We are not asking them to engage in armed confrontation but at least to be present in the areas where there is friction with the settlers.

“In addition to the security forces, we want ambulances and civil defense teams to be on call as part of these committees so that if any attack happens, there could at least be attempts to block the settlers and teams ready to save people,” he said.

With the re-emergence of Palestinian armed resistance, particularly in Nablus and Jenin, Israel has been pressuring the PA to clamp down on fighters and help thwart another uprising. This, experts say, includes a quiet process of the PA bribing fighters, particularly in Nablus, to hand themselves and their weapons over in exchange for amnesty from Israel if they serve time in PA prisons.

“The occupation is pressuring the PA to crack down on any resistance, it is even pushing the PA into a place of confrontation with armed resistance fighters as opposed to protecting them,” said Mansour, the analyst.

In September last year, Palestinian fighters in Nablus clashed with PA security forces after the latter arrested two leaders in the Lions’ Den armed resistance group who were on Israel’s wanted list” [6]

“According to Mansour, the PA may be forced into a confrontation with the Palestinian people if it does not take immediate steps to change its role and image.”

“If the PA does not improve its administration of the crisis on the ground and does not take immediate steps to improve its image and to become closer to the people, then I think the situation may backfire against it,” said Mansour“ [7]

To expect the PA, the servant of Israel and the U.S. to use arms to protect the Palestinians is a pie in the sky. The only way to protect the Palestinians from the settlers is to form in every village, in every neighborhood a self- defense committee and elected democratically national command of the self defense units made of the best workers and poor peasants. This will lead to a workers and poor peasants government.

Form armed self-defense!

To hell with Israel, the PA and U.S. and other imperialists!

For a Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!





[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

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