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While World Attention Is Drawn to Gaza, Settlers Move Deeper Into West Bank

Since October 7, settlers have taken 37,000 acres in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to Dror Etkes from Kerem Navot, an Israeli monitoring group, as reported in the New York Times. “There is a linkage between violence and settler expansion,” Etkes said. “They are taking revenge on the Palestinians by taking more and more land.” When the latest war in Gaza began, Israel stepped up its security presence in the West Bank, which further emboldened the settlers in their land grab.

According to United Nations figures, 2023 has been the deadliest year in its nearly 20 years of record keeping. There was a significant rise in violence in the West Bank since October 7 with 489 Palestinians and 10 Israelis killed (six were part of Israeli security). The West Bank, an area slightly larger than the state of Delaware, was land seized by Israel in the 1967 war. The government has given incentives to Jewish Israelis to settle there, providing land, IDF protection, electricity, water, and roads.

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