TEL AVIV, Tuesday, February 28, 2023 (WAFA) – The Israeli media said today that the Israeli occupation army was aware of the intention of the settlers to storm the town of Hawara and its neighboring villages in the north of the West Bank last Sunday but did nothing to prevent them.
On Sunday night, settlers carried out about 300 attacks in the towns of Hawara, Burin, and Asira al-Qibliya, south of Nablus, which resulted in the death of Sameh Hamdallah Aqtash, 37, the injury of more than 350 others, and the burning and destruction of dozens of homes and vehicles.
Israel Hayom daily said the Israeli security agencies failed at a time when it was clear that the settlers were preparing large-scale attacks in Hawara. Social media was full of incitement and threats against Palestinians, calling for attacks after two settlers were killed in a shooting attack. The vice president of the so-called settlement council Samaria, David Ben Zion, wrote on Twitter that "the village of Hawara must be eradicated today." The two Israeli cabinet ministers, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, liked this tweet.
According to Haaretz newspaper, accusations were exchanged among the Israeli security agencies during which military officials were criticized for not closing the streets and roads from which the settlers reached Hawara.
On the other hand, the army criticized the Shin Bet security agency because the Jewish department in it did not warn it of the possibility of hundreds of settlers arriving in Hawara to burn dozens of homes and hundreds of vehicles in the town.
The newspaper added that the army units began to act only after the settlers started burning buildings and vehicles in Hawara, and then they did not succeed in controlling the situation.
What is noteworthy is that in the aftermath of the settlers' terrorist attacks in Hawara, the occupation forces did not arrest anyone. Their response to these attacks was to beef up the forces in the West Bank, specifically against the Palestinians but not to curb the settlers.
According to Haaretz, after the situation came under control, and although the army, the Shin Bet, and the Israeli police knew that the perpetrators of the attacks lived in settlements and outposts near Hawara, they did not arrest any of them.