(Photo credit: Oren Ziv)
Settlers under the protection of the Israeli army stormed Huwara south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on the evening of 6 March – firing live ammunition at Palestinians, throwing stones, and vandalizing vehicles in the second rampage on the town in a span of ten days.
According to eyewitnesses, several Palestinians attempted to confront the settlers and were fired at with tear gas canisters by the Israeli military, resulting in a number of suffocation cases.
Video footage circulating social media shows settlers and Israeli soldiers celebrating and dancing during the rampage, which coincided with the start of the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Israeli soldiers dancing with settlers during renewed attacks against Palestinians in the town of Huwara, occupied West Bank city of Nablus. pic.twitter.com/m0vdwKrIN0
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) March 6, 2023
Unconfirmed reports state that Palestinian resistance fighters responded to the storming of the town by targeting a number of Israeli checkpoints and a settlement in Nablus with gunfire.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that 31 Palestinians were injured as a result of the simultaneous attack by settlers and Israeli troops.
مستوطنون متوحشون وبدعم من الجنود الإسرائيليين هاجموا الليلة #حوارة كجزء من العيد اليهودي بوريم ، واعتدوا على الفلسطينيين ورشقوا سياراتهم بالحجارة مما أدى لإصابة 4 فلسطينيين بجراح طفيفة، بعد ذلك رقص المستوطنون وجنود الجيش الاسرائيلي معاً pic.twitter.com/TxvFhF2OXK
— سعيد بشارات Saaed Bsharat (@saaed_bsharat) March 6, 2023
By midnight, the rampage had ended. However, the following day, settlers continued smaller scale attacks in Huwara. Video footage showed the shattered glass of a clothing store reportedly targeted by settler gunfire on 7 March.
Additionally, clashes broke out between Palestinian youths and settlers in the town of Urif in Nablus.
Last night’s attack on Huwara was the second settler rampage to take place in the town in a span of less than two weeks. At the end of last month, on 26 February, settlers launched a several-hour ‘pogrom’ against Huwara, killing one Palestinian, injuring at least 390, and torching dozens of Palestinian homes and vehicles under the supervision of Israeli troops.
A few days later, on 1 March, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said that “Huwara should be wiped out.”
This latest settler attack against Huwara comes as tensions continue to accumulate as a result of Israeli violence and oppression. As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, tensions are expected to build even further.
On 6 March, hours before the storming of Huwara, Hebrew media reported that Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir ordered security forces to carry out demolitions of Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem throughout Ramadan, which begins on 22 March.
In an audio recording obtained by Hebrew media, Ben Gvir purportedly revealed his intention to shut down the Al-Aqsa Mosque for ten days during Ramadan, which – if true – is likely to result in a significant escalation.