Following the continued violations by Israeli occupation forces, the Doha-based Qatar Youth Opposed to Normalisation [QAYON] group solidified their support for Palestinians.
Increasing Israeli attacks against Palestinians is “a continuation of a systematic process aimed at judaising the holy city of Jerusalem,” QAYON, an independent pro-Palestinian local youth body in Doha said.
The latest violence witnessed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is supported by recent agreements by Arab states to normalise relations with Israel, the statement said, accusing them of complicit in crimes against Palestinians.
In a Twitter thread, the local organisation strongly condemned overnight attacks by Israeli settlers in a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, which have continued for several days and led to hundreds being wounded.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem published videos showing settlers setting alight bushes and as part of an attack on the Palestinian village of Jaloud.
"We take house after house…. ", Israeli squatter says
— Muhammad Smiry (@MuhammadSmiry) May 1, 2021
Some 11 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli forces and four others were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, B’Tselem said.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, confirmed that villagers gathered to defend their homes after an offensive by settlers.
“Israeli settlers have been known to carry out so-called ‘price tag’ attacks on Palestinian communities in response to violence or perceived Israeli plans to restrict settlement activity,” Reuters reported.
Prominent Qatari journalist Jaber Al Harmi was among dozens who took to Twitter to express their support for Palestinians facing settler violence.
“Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem, Hebron, Lod, Nazareth, Acre, Galilee. Every iota of soil in #Palestine is not for sale,” the Qatari journalist tweeted.
How the violence erupted
Last month, a WhatsApp group made by far-right extremists ‘La Familia’ called on settlers to organise a march against Palestinians in occupied Palestine.
“Burning Arabs today, Molotov cocktails are already in the trunk … the way I see it, an Arab dies today,” the group said.
The deliberate attacks by radicalised Israelis involved illegally storming residences of Palestinians while attacking families who live in them.
At the time, Palestine Red Crescent said over 100 Palestinians had been injured, with dozens being hospitalised due to the ongoing assaults, though the number has now increased. Witnesses said occupying Israeli forces were seen protecting settlers.
“The [Israeli] police protected the settlers’ march from Jaffa street until they reached the Damascus Gate, and on the other hand, they fired sound bombs, tear gas, and exhaust water against Palestinians. It was an obvious bias,”Baraa Zighari, an advocate and the head of the Sabra institution, told Anadolu Agency.
— جابر الحرمي (@jaberalharmi) May 3, 2021
Since the beginning of Ramadan on April 13th, Palestinians have been subjected to increasing attacks by Israeli forces who have prevented Muslims from holding evening gatherings outside the Damascus Gate.
“Palestinians love to relax in this area after evening prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the occupation [Israel] doesn’t like it. It’s a matter of sovereignty,” said Jerusalem resident Mohammad Abu Al-Homus.
Rise in attacks
According to local Palestinian reports, assaults and property destruction by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank has seen an alarming increase in the last period.
During the first three months of 2021, more than 210 incidents of violence by settlers were recorded, some of which led to deaths of Palestinians.
Reports suggest the rise in violence is designed to “intimidate and terrorise Palestinians” to force them out of their own homes, as has been seen in recent days in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
The east Jerusalem neighbourhood, taken and annexed by Israel in 1967 in clear violation of international law, is now at the centre of attacks by settlers attempting to evict a total of 58 more Palestinians.
“As these events represent a pivotal stage in the Palestinian scene, we stress on the need for categorical rejection of all forms of normalisation, whether official or informal, political, media, academic or sports” QAYON stated.
“This is the least that can be done to support the heroic Palestinian steadfastness in the face of the occupation and to protect the Muslims’ first direction of prayer,” the statement added, referring to Al Quds mosque.