In what has been dubbed the ‘Jewish Terror’, settler attacks on Palestinians and their property tripled last year, with nearly 500 incidents reported ranging from racist graffiti, to assault, to the destruction of olive trees.

According to figures reported by Haaretz, there were 482 politically motivated crimes carried out by settlers in the West Bank last year, compared to 140 in 2017. It’s the highest number of incidents in four years.

These attacks frequently include assaults and stone throwing. The most common episodes have seen racist, nationalistic, and anti-Muslim graffiti spray painted around Palestinian neighborhoods and on property, with about 540 vehicles damaged.

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The attackers have also targeted olive trees and grapevines. Around 7,900 trees were destroyed or damaged in what is seen as a calculated attack on the livelihood of many Palestinians, who rely on the trees for their income.

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Settlers often frame these incidents as “price tag” attacks, a form of retaliation for Palestinian violence and Israeli government policies they perceive as threatening their settlements. Some attacks are used as a form of intimidation in a bid to capture more Palestinian land.

There are between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli settlers living in the occupied West Bank in settlements that are considered illegal under international law.

In October, settlers killed Aisha Rabi, a mother of eight, when they threw a large rock at the car she was in. A week before that incident, a Palestinian man killed two Israeli settlers in a factory where they all worked.

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The spike in attacks was also backed up by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which recorded 265 incidents in which Israeli settlers killed (3) or injured (115) Palestinians or damaged Palestinian property, up to mid-December last year. This represents a 69-percent increase compared with 2017. (RT)