Israeli settlers have noticeably escalated attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in April despite restriction of movement and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a rights group says.
In an official report on Saturday, the Israeli rights group B’Tselem said since the outbreak of the contagious disease in the occupied territories, the settlers have ramped up their assaults with full support from the Tel Aviv regime.
B’Tselem said during the first three weeks of the current month only at least 23 attacks by settlers had been documented compared to 23 such incidents throughout March, adding that 11 of these attacks were conducted after mid-March, when strict restrictions on movement and social gatherings were imposed.
The report went on to say that for comparison it was worth noting that only 11 attacks had been recorded in January and 12 in February.
According to the report, in these violent incidents, Israeli settlers, some of them carrying firearms, physically assaulted Palestinians with clubs, axes, electroshock weapons, stones and assault dogs, inflicting severe injuries in a number of cases.
It added that settlers also launched attacked Palestinian homes, set their cars on fire, vandalized their property, and uprooted their olive trees and other crops as well as sealing their livestock.