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Systematic West Bank Settler Violence

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Systematic West Bank Settler Violence - by Stephen Lendman

Settlers are free to terrorize Palestinians.

B'Tselem 's been on the story for years. Settler violence is longstanding, troubling, and largely without accountability.

Since September 2000 alone (the beginning of the second Intifada), the toll includes 50 Palestinians killed. Since December 1987 (the first Intifada's onset), it's 115, besides many more injured, including children.

With few exceptions, settlers initiate unprovoked violence. More recently, those under the "Price Tag" slogan rampage out-of-control. 

B'Tselem documented numerous incidents, including blocking roads, stoning cars and homes, torching fields, uprooting trees and other crops, as well as other forms of violence and damage. 

In response, Israeli security forces do little despite a High Court ruling that "protecting the security and property of the local residents is one of the most basic obligations placed upon the military commander in the field."

Moreover, Justices said Israeli authorities must "give unequivocal instructions to the forces that are deployed in the field." They must also "allocate forces to protect the property of the Palestinian residents."

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More on the most recent incidents below.

Israel's Duel Legal System

Civil law governs Israeli citizens. For Palestinians, it's repressive military law, affording little or no justice.

Under Israel's July 1967 Emergency Regulations (Offenses in the Occupied Territories - Jurisdiction and Legal Assistance), 5727 - 1967, Israeli citizens charged with Occupied Palestine crimes face civil trials, if any.

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As a result, they enjoy liberties and legal guarantees not afforded Palestinians, including when charged with similar or identical offenses. 

At all times, fundamental protections differ, including arrest procedures, interrogations, maximum detention periods before initial judicial proceedings, due process, maximum punishments, early releases, and other legal rights.

Under military occupation, nationality and religion are determinate, not judicial fairness. Equity is denied. So are territoriality principles under which law and order standards apply uniformly for every area resident. Not in Occupied Palestine.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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