For English, please see below.

På hele Vestbredden er angreb af israelske bosættere på palæstinensiske landsbyer i de seneste måneder blevet en del af hverdagen. Næsten hver uge vågner palæstinensere et eller andet sted op til vandaliseret ejendom med racistiske sloganer nedfældet på hebraisk.

Vold og chikane fra bosættere er dog på ingen måde noget nyt. Ifølge det israelske informationscenter for menneskerettigheder i de besatte områder, B’Tselem, faciliterer de israelske myndigheder denne virkelighed. Dette gøres helt konkret ved på den ene side bevidst at undlade retshåndhævelsen over for de voldelige og chikane-ansvarlige bosættere og på den anden side ved at beordre israelske soldater til at beskytte bosætterne, som angriber palæstinensere og endda hjælpe dem med deres uføre – og høste fordele deraf. Intet hus, ingen bil, intet område er ifølge menneskerettighedsorganisationen sikkert, og bosættere kan således gøre, hvad de vil, uden at det har nogen konsekvenser.

Denne tendens bekræftes, når man ser på statistikker fra FN’s Kontor for Humanitære Anliggender, OCHA oPt, hvor organisationen ligeledes har kunnet dokumentere, at israelsk bosætter-vold mod palæstinensere har været stigende siden begyndelsen af 2017. Mellem januar og april 2018 dokumenterede OCHA i alt 84 hændelser, der tilskrives israelske bosættere – hvoraf 27 resulterede i palæstinensiske tilskadekomne og 57 resulterede i skader på palæstinensisk ejendom. Det månedlige gennemsnit udgør det højeste niveau af hændelser registreret siden slutningen af 2014, hvor der er tale om en stigning på henholdsvis 50 og 162 % i forhold til år 2017 og 2016.

Ifølge en rapport “Mock Enforcement: Law enforcement on Israeli civilians in the West Bank”, der blev offentliggjort i 2015 af Yesh Din – en israelsk frivillig menneskerettighedsorganisation, tilskrives disse handlinger, som ofte benævnes “ideologiske forbrydelser”, normalt et lille antal ekstremister, alt imens der i virkeligheden er tale om, at det er udbredte handlinger, der finder sted på Vestbredden og involverer mange mennesker.

Som medlem af Europa-Parlamentet, Ana Mirande kommenterede tilbage i 2013: “Der er en klar strategi, der har til formål at ødelægge palæstinenseres rettigheder. Bosættelsespolitikken gennemført af den israelske stat er et godt eksempel på dette. Israelerne bosætter sig i de besatte områder med fuldstændig straffrihed. Staten giver dem sikkerhed og alle slags tjenester på trods af, at basale serviceydelser ikke er sikret til palæstinenserne.”

Enhver civilbefolkning under besættelse befinder sig naturligvis i en anspændt og sårbar position. Som besættelsesmagt har Israel en række forpligtelser, der er beskrevet i 1907 Haag-forordningerne (art. 42-56), fjerde Genève-konvention (art. 27-34 og 47-78) samt i visse bestemmelser i tillægsprotokol nr. 1 og i sædvaneret for international humanitær lov. Loven fastslår, at besættelsesmagten skal træffe foranstaltninger for at genoprette og sikre i så vidt muligt omfang, den offentlige orden og sikkerhed. Det betyder, at den civile befolkning i alle henseender skal behandles humant og har krav på beskyttelse mod voldshandlinger, også af tredjeparter.

De israelske forsvarsstyrker har ansvaret for retshåndhævelsen på Vestbredden, men de har uddelegeret dette ansvar til det israelske politi. Ifølge Yesh Din blev opdelingen af myndighedsarbejdet mellem disse to organer imidlertid aldrig afsluttet – og det skulle være kendetegnet af mangel på samarbejde. I sin rapport fra 2015 blev 85,3% af sagerne lukket, fordi politiets efterforskere undlod at lokalisere mistænkte eller indsamle tilstrækkelige beviser til at tjene anklageren.

Som Jill Evans, medlem af Europa-Parlamentet allerede kommenterede tilbage i 2013: “Det er virkelig et system som Apartheid […] Jeg tror ikke, at folk udenfor ved, at det foregår. Jeg tror ikke, at de er klar over, i hvilket omfang der er adskillelse og diskrimination her.”

Kilder:

  1. “More Than 2,000 Trees in West Bank Palestinian Villages Destroyed in Two Months”, Haaretz, 1 August 2018, tilgængelig her.
  2. “Defenseless: Settlers, backed by Israeli authorities, vandalize Palestinian property in the West Bank”, B’Tselem, June 2018, tilgængelig her.
  3. “Increase in settler violence during the first four months of 2018”, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 5 June 2018, her.
  4. “Living under occupation: Daily Life in Occupied Palestine”, The European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, published on youtube 1 February 2013, tilgængelig her.
  5. “Occupation and international humanitarian law: questions and answers”, International Committee of the Red Cross, tilgængelig her.
  6. “Mock Enforcement: The Failure to Enforce the Law on Israeli Civilians in the West Bank”, Yesh Din, May 2015, tilgængelig her.

 

  

Even when violence and harassment from settlers have become the norm

In recent months, attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages throughout the West Bank have become commonplace. Almost every week, Palestinians somewhere in the territory wake up to a vandalized property and racist slogans in Hebrew.

Yet, settler violence is by no means something new. According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Israeli authorities both enables this reality – by its deliberate lack of law enforcement and by sending soldiers to guard settlers who attack Palestinians and even help them – and reaps its benefit. No house, no car, no field is according to the human rights organization safe, and settlers can do as they please without suffering any consequences.

This trend can be confirmed when looking at to statistics from the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA oPt. Israeli settler violence against Palestinians has been on the rise since the beginning of 2017. Specifically, between January and April 2018, OCHA documented a total of 84 incidents attributed to Israeli settlers – of which 27 resulted in Palestinian casualties and 57 in damage to Palestinian property. On a monthly average, this is the highest level of incidents recorded since the end of 2014 and represents a 50 and 162 % increase compared with 2017 and 2016, respectively.

In the report “Mock Enforcement: Law enforcement on Israeli civilians in the West Bank”, published in 2015 by Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, it is reported that while these acts, also referred to as “ideological crimes”, are usually attributed to a small number of extremists, in reality, they are widespread occurrences throughout the West Bank and involve many people.

As Member of the European Parliament, Ana Mirande commented back in 2013: “There is a clear strategy designed to destroy the rights of Palestinian people. The settlement policy implemented by the Israeli state is a good example of it. The Israelis settle in the occupied territories with complete impunity. The state provides them security and all sort of services, despite basic services are not secured to the Palestinians.”

Any civilian population under occupation is obviously in a tense and vulnerable position. Israel’s duties as an occupying power are spelled out primarily in the 1907 Hague Regulations (arts. 42-56) and the Fourth Geneva Convention (GC IV, arts. 27-34 and 47-78), as well as in certain provisions of Additional Protocol I and customary international humanitarian law. The law states that the occupying power must take measures to restore and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety. This means that the civilian population must be humanely treated in all circumstances and protected from any acts of violence, including by third parties. As presented above, however, there are numerous examples of Israel failing to live up to its legal obligations under international humanitarian law.

The Israeli Defense Force is charged with law enforcement in the West Bank, but it has delegated this authority to the Israel Police. According to Yesh Din, the division of authorities between these two bodies was never completed, and cooperation is lacking. In its report from 2015, 85.3 % of investigation files were closed due to the failure by police investigators to locate suspects or to collect sufficient evidence to serve indictments.

As Jill Evans, Member of the European Parliament already commented in 2013: “It really is a system like Apartheid […] I don’t think that people outside know that that is going on. I don’t think they realize to what extent there are segregation and discrimination here.”

Sources:

  1. “More Than 2,000 Trees in West Bank Palestinian Villages Destroyed in Two Months”, Haaretz, 1 August 2018, available here.
  2. “Defenseless: Settlers, backed by Israeli authorities, vandalize Palestinian property in the West Bank”, B’Tselem, June 2018, available here.
  3. “Increase in settler violence during the first four months of 2018”, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, 5 June 2018, available here.
  4. “Living under occupation: Daily Life in Occupied Palestine”, The European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, published on youtube 1 February 2013, available here. (Note: Quote by MEP, Jill Evans can be found 8 minutes in).
  5. “Occupation and international humanitarian law: questions and answers”, International Committee of the Red Cross, available here.
  6. “Mock Enforcement: The Failure to Enforce the Law on Israeli Civilians in the West Bank”, Yesh Din, May 2015, available here.