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Israeli 'Settlers' Assault Aid Trucks, Drivers, Israelis, and IDF

On May 17, 2024, an Israeli and three IDF troops were injured in the West Bank by extremist settlers. The settlers have been attacking food and aid trucks for months as part of their ethnic cleansing. Despite escalating violence, police and IDF resistance has been minimal, even as the attacks have escalated from dumping food out on the street to burning trucks.

In February the Grayzone had published a video report about such settlers preventing aid from reaching Palestinians.

Now their frenzy has driven them further.

The Times of Israel reports that a truck, that the settlers mistakenly believed was carrying aid to Gaza, was torched, and its Israeli driver attacked. The settlers also attacked and injured IDF soldiers coming to the aid of the driver.

In a separate incident near Nablus, settlers protesting aid to Gaza hurled rocks at Palestinian cars. The group, Tzav 9, is believed to be leading these protests. It is thought that they are getting intelligence on the whereabouts of the aid trucks from some members of Israel’s security forces. But, from the top, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has been pressuring police to allow the settlers to carry out their vigilante activities.

These arrangements predate the Hamas assault on Oct. 7. As a systemic arrangement, they trace back to Ben-Gvir’s tenure starting in December 2022. His associate Benzi Gopstein has been involved in many provocations against Palestinians. Gopstein was a leader of the gang that burned to death a Palestinian family in 2015 in the West Bank, and Ben-Gvir was his lawyer. (Gopstein, quoting his hero, Meir Kahane, also threatened that Israel’s enemies include the “cancer” of such Jews who must be gotten rid of.) Though he held no office and was a notorious figure, Gopstein attended several meetings of Ben-Gvir’s National Security Ministry and, reportedly, had been involved in various decisions and advice concerning police operations. The hand of the Ben-Gvir/Gopstein team in the standdown of Israeli police, and the pogrom by Israeli settler-vigilantes in the Feb. 26, 2023 rampage against Huwara was particularly infuriating to Palestinians.