More than half a million Israelis live in guarded, Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli rights group B’TSelem. These settlements are considered illegal by the international community.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 107 settler attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, and another 46 attacks so far this year.
So far this year, Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 22 Palestinians, among them seven children.
An Israeli settler has shot and killed a 23-year-old Palestinian during a protest in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian officials.
The Palestinian health ministry said the victim succumbed to his wounds on Thursday shortly after being shot at by the settler who fired live ammunition on protesters near a military checkpoint in the village of Huwwara, local Ma’an News Agency reported.
Palestinian security sources told AFP news agency that a clash near the checkpoint erupted when an Israeli settler in a car attempted to cross a crowd of protesters, with the settler and Israeli soldiers opening fire.
The Palestinian killed was identified by local media and the health ministry as Mutaz Bani Shamsa, from a village near Nablus.
“To many of us our solidarity in this campaign is very personal because of our own experience under apartheid. We too, like the heroic Palestinians, were once called terrorists. We, like the Palestinians, were detained. We, like the Palestinians today, embarked on hunger strikes from our prison cells in protest against apartheid South Africa’s human rights violations. We also note the growing number of South African Jews who have joined this 24-hour fast and are in protest against Israel’s discriminatory policies. They remind us of our own white comrades who refused to let the apartheid government speak in their name.” — Nomaindia Mfeketo, South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-Operation
More than a dozen South African politicians and several anti-apartheid activists and public figures have completed a day-long fast to draw attention to the fight of hunger-striking Palestinians protesting conditions in Israeli prisons.
Cabinet members including deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy minister of international relations and co-operation Nomaindia Mfeketo — who herself was detained several times in the 1980s for anti-government activism — did not eat or drink for 24 hours from Sunday evening to Monday evening in solidarity with Palestinians who have now entered their second month of a hunger strike.
The “Freedom and Dignity” strike involving about 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in eight jails is over a range of issues, from access to telephones, lawyers and better medical care to ending solitary detention.