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Pogroms—Orgies of Violence Once Directed Against Jews in Europe—Are Now Carried Out by Israeli Settlers and Military Throughout the West Bank

Israel seized on the Hamas raid of October 7 to inflict crushing death and destruction on the Palestinian people in Gaza. Along with that there has been an ever intensifying reign of Israeli terror against Palestinian people in the West Bank region (so named because it is west of the Jordan River). 

Seizing on real or invented incidents of Palestinian violence against Jewish settlers who are mobilized and deployed to ethnically cleanse the West Bank of Palestinians, armed settlers are on a rampage of death and terror. 

The Guardian reported, that when a teenage Israeli shepherd was reported missing on April 12, settlers in the area did not wait to find out the missing teenager’s fate before unleashing a vicious, deadly pogrom. 

What is a pogrom? The term originated with deadly riots by ignorant, backward people in Eastern Europe against Jews in the centuries before the Nazi Holocaust that killed six million Jews (for more on the causes and nature of the Holocaust, see Revolution Responds to Question on Nature of Holocaust.). And in a bitter irony, Jews in Israel are now channeling those who carried out those attacks. 

Shortly after the teenager went missing, hundreds of armed settlers descending on the Palestinian villages of Beitin, Duma and al-Mughayyir. They killed 17-year-old Omar Hamed and 25-year-old Jihad Abu Aliya and injured dozens more. Eighteen of the injured Palestinians were shot with live ammunition. And on April 15, dozens more were shot at Aqraba near Nablus, killing Mohammed Bani Jame, 21, and Abdulrahman Bani Fadel, 30. 

During the rampages, roads were blocked, 60 Palestinian homes and businesses and more than 100 cars were torched, and hundreds of sheep were killed or stolen, according to first responders and rights groups. In al-Mughayyir, a fire engine that came to extinguish the blazes on Saturday was also attacked, causing the firefighters to flee. The fire engine was later set alight. Video taken by a journalist shows Israeli soldiers on foot and armored patrol vehicles, doing nothing to stop the attacks. 

One of the survivors of the pogroms said an engineer told her that her damaged house was no longer safe to live in. She replied, “We have nowhere else to go. Where would we go? Nowhere is safe from the settlers.”

Israeli Military Targets Civilians in Tulkarem

Explosion from Israeli bombardment of the Nur Shams refugee camp near the town of Tulkarem, Gaza, April 20, 2024.


Explosion from Israeli bombardment of the Nur Shams refugee camp near the town of Tulkarem, Gaza, April 20, 2024.    Photo: AP

On April 19, Israeli forces raided the Nur Shams refugee camp  west of the West Bank town of Tulkarem for a second day, killing 14 people, including a teenager.

Israel claims the assault on Nur Shams was aimed at armed Palestinian forces. But one of the first actions of the Israeli forces storming the camp was the destruction of the local bakery on which the population depends for food. Israeli troops were followed by bulldozers that systematically destroyed roads, buildings, shops, and sewage lines. 

You don’t go after small groups of armed combatants by destroying bakeries and sewage lines. You do what the Israeli army is doing in the West Bank in order to carry out genocidal ethnic cleansing, making Palestinian cities, towns, and farms throughout the West Bank unlivable. And you do that as an escalation of the genocidal ethnic cleansing of Palestine on which the State of Israel was built.

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