“We were at home, everything was normal, when neighbors said that settlers had arrived.”
“Between 400 and 500 settlers came. They broke the windows, threw big stones, and broke the door.
We called the army, everyone, but nothing happened.” <…> “The army stood there, giving them support.”Sharif Sultan, resident of Huwara
On Sunday night, February 26, the Palestinian town of Huwara was attacked by a mob of Israeli settlers. What is being described as a pogrom by some, this attack illustrates how much empowerment, support, and impunity Israeli settlers enjoy — not by accident, but as Israeli state policy.
What happened in Huwara was horrifying: imagine a violent mob attacking a town, yet the authority you could turn to is the one who’s supporting and protecting the mob members.
Buildings being burned, cars torched, people attacked.
“According to eyewitnesses, immediately following the murder of the two settlers, the Israeli army shut down the two entrances to Huwara and allowed the settler mob to enter the town by foot, doing nothing to prevent the ensuing atrocity,” Orly Noy reports.
This is the reality of Palestine: living under military occupation, what justice and what protections could you expect from the force that is illegally occupying your land?
To be more specific, this is also the reality of settler violence in Palestine: the support Israeli forces provide – logistical, physical, and legal – is widely documented and is not even a controversial claim to make.
An attack on Huwara is yet another reminder of something we have to understand, condemn, and speak out against:
Settler violence is state violence.
As a government, you can’t embolden, protect, and grant impunity to people committing violent acts – while also inviting them to move to illegal Israeli settlements in the first place – and claim that what they do is not under your control.
This is what makes this violence structural. This is all part of the system.
The question is, what will it take for the world to condemn it?
Listen to my episode on the concept of the erasure of the Palestinian people here.
Find my episode on impunity surrounding Israel’s crimes below:
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