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Where Israeli Settler Terrorism Comes From

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Settler terrorsimFollowing a series of violent incidents involving settler and pro-settler Jewish Israeli extremists, including the attempted lynching of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem, many Israelis expressed concern about the rise in violent hatred within their society and wondered where it was coming from.

Several incidents over the weekend demonstrated that this trend is only intensifying and clearly pointed to why. For the answer, Israelis need look no further than across the Green Line: settler terror is an inevitable consequence of the occupation and the myriad policies of the Israeli state that enable this extremism.

As they have for numerous years, extremist settlers are again violently disrupting the Palestinian olive-picking season, which is now underway. Settlers have been attacking Palestinians on their way to pick olives and destroying trees and orchards. Palestinians complain that the settlers are operating with impunity under the watchful eyes of Israeli authorities who do little to restrain—and even less to arrest or prosecute—them.

Increasingly, occupation forces are also coming under settler "price tag" attacks (retribution for government crackdowns on illegal activities), with three undercover Israeli police officers posing as Palestinians violently attacked by extremist settler youths near Hebron. The police say they did nothing to provoke the youths, who have been arrested because they made the mistake of assaulting occupation forces rather than Palestinians.

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