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Attacks by Israeli settlers surge as West Bank tensions boil

Terror attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank are on the rise, the United Nations (UN) and other organizations are warning. According to Shin Bet, the security agency of Israel, 295 attacks of this kind took place in 2018, a 40% increase compared to the year before. In 2019, the UN has so far tracked 30 settler attacks against people or property.

Israeli organizations identify two sources for the rise in settler attacks. The first is that Israeli law enforcement is not doing enough to stop these assaults. The growing violence is also partially attributed to a perceived increase in the severity of Palestinian attacks against Israeli citizens. About 450,000 Israelis currently reside in the West Bank, which was occupied by Israel in 1967. Most of the international community considers the Israeli settlements to be illegal.

Depending on the outcome of the upcoming legislative elections in Israel, the growing tensions in the West Bank between Palestinians and Israeli settlers may increase further. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to be charged with corruption by Israel’s attorney general in the near future, he is eagerly seeking reelection and has formed an alliance with the ultranationalist right to improve his odds.

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