Norwegian Refugee Council says Israeli settler attacks forcibly transfer Jerusalem community

The Norwegian Refugee Council said today that as a result of Israeli settler violence, seven Palestinian families from the Al-Baqa’a Bedouin community, northeast of Jerusalem, were forced to flee their homes this week.

“After three weeks of harassment, intimidation and physical assaults, the families living in Al-Baqa’a had no choice but to leave,” said Caroline Ort, NRC’s country director for Palestine. “Israeli settlers, with tacit—and sometimes explicit—support from Israeli government officials, are intimidating and attacking Palestinian communities with the express goal of displacing them. Forcible transfer is a violation of international law and must stop.”

Thirty-six Palestinians, including 20 children, have been displaced after Israeli settlers established a new outpost, intimidated and harassed community members, and burned a residential tent.

Israeli occupation authorities have created an increasingly coercive environment, pressuring and ultimately forcing Al-Baqa’a residents to leave. Expanding Israeli settlements, as well as planning and zoning restrictions, mean limited residents’ freedom of movement, including access to grazing lands. Fear of settler attacks have also prevented community members from leaving their homes and moving freely.

“We call on third states to demand accountability for settler violence,” said Ort. “Too often we hear only condemnations and condolences from the international community, but it’s not enough. We need action to end this impunity.”

NRC urged Israel, the occupying power, to fulfil its obligations under international law to stop settler violence, protect Palestinians, and prevent further displacement.

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