Israeli Settlers Allegedly Set Fire to Palestinian Fields in Violation of Religious Prohibitions
Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement are being accused of setting fire to fields belonging to the Palestinian village of Burin. The incident, caught on camera and shared by the Yesh Din rights group, shows masked settlers standing on a hilltop while flames and smoke engulf the fields.
Unfortunately, no arrests have been made in connection to this incident, and convictions for settler violence are rare. However, the Israel Defense Forces did arrive at the scene to disperse the gatherings, after receiving reports of both Palestinians and settlers setting fires.
This incident adds to a concerning pattern of apparent settler violence, which often occurs on the Jewish Sabbath, despite being prohibited by religious laws. In fact, two suspects and eight Israelis have been detained under administrative detention for previous settler rampages in Palestinian towns.
Criticism against Israeli authorities has also mounted after it was revealed that they filled a well dug by Palestinians near the al-Hijrah village in the South Hebron Hills with cement. Israel justifies its enforcement against illegal wells by citing water agreements from the 1995 Oslo Accords. However, Palestinians argue that these agreements no longer reflect the current reality.
The lack of access to water is a significant issue for Palestinians in the West Bank. They have significantly less access compared to Israelis, with Palestinians in disconnected regions consuming as little as 26 liters per day per person. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority, which has control over areas A and B, faces limitations in developing an efficient water grid due to Israeli control over Area C.
Palestinians argue that illegal construction often occurs because Israel rarely approves permits for them, and they have no choice but to build illegally to account for natural growth. This ongoing struggle with access to basic utilities continues to hamper the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, further adding to the tensions in the region.
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