Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and other Jewish Israeli fanatics have been coordinating attacks on Palestinians on chat apps WhatsApp and Telegram – attacks that they themselves refer to as lynchings.
They “sell and buy weapons, curse, incite, spread fakes and ‘warm up’ each other to carry out acts of revenge,” according to FakeReporter, an Israeli research organization that documents these activities.
They even discuss kidnapping Palestinian children.
This comes as Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed more than 60 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 7 October.
This includes at least 16 Palestinian children.
At least five Palestinians were killed by settlers, who have been deputized by Israel’s top leadership to carry out pogroms.
Israel’s army has fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters that have injured more than 1,000 Palestinians. More than a quarter of those injuries were by live ammunition.
“Last week was the deadliest week for West Bank Palestinians since OCHA began recording casualties in 2005,” the UN monitoring group said.
This would be a major news story.
But since Israel’s campaign of extermination by air, land and sea in Gaza started on 7 October, the apartheid regime has allowed its foot soldiers to run amok in the occupied West Bank, committing atrocities against Palestinians.
Settlers carried out more than 80 attacks against Palestinians during that period, as has been documented by OCHA. These figures include injuries against Palestinians as well as property damage.
Israeli forces were involved in some attacks, according to the monitoring group.
Settler attacks double
The number of settler attacks has more than doubled since the start of the year, to an average of seven incidents per day.
Settler attacks target many Palestinian communities that Israeli authorities are already threatening with forcible transfer. There were instances when settlers gave Palestinians an ultimatum to leave their homes. Some families did in fact leave.
Israeli settlers then destroyed tents, water pipes and solar panels belonging to the Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes.
In one video, a settler armed with a rifle shoots a Palestinian at point-blank range, severely wounding him, in al-Tuwani village in the occupied West Bank’s South Hebron Hills.
The settler is seen walking away, and the soldier does nothing to reprimand or arrest him on the spot. Meanwhile, Palestinians rush to attend to the wounded man.
Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported that “the army confiscated the gun and the assailant was questioned by police.”
Another video in al-Tuwani shows an adult man in uniform firing his gun in the direction of Palestinians.
The Israeli army told Haaretz that the man was a reservist who supposedly fired into the air.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem documented settlers throwing Molotov cocktails at Palestinian property and cars in Sheikh Jarrah last week:
Another video posted by Yesh Din – an Israeli group that monitors settler activity in the occupied West Bank – shows Israeli forces escorting and protecting settlers as they invade the village of Burin, south of Nablus:
The settlers, some of them armed and masked, are filmed throwing stones at Palestinians and uprooting trees. One of them even has a chainsaw.
“There is no law enforcement, only revenge and collective punishment,” the group said.
“Nothing is stopping these militias from attacking Palestinians.”
In fact, the Israeli government is actively encouraging the most fanatic Jewish settlers to attack Palestinians, working as extensions of the Israeli state.
It is doing so by arming and distributing weapons to Jewish extremists.
Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said his ministry is purchasing 10,000 rifles to distribute to Israeli civilians in the southern colonies along the boundary fence with the Gaza Strip, as well as in towns where Palestinian citizens of Israel live and in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Ben-Gvir said he had already acquired 4,000 rifles from an Israeli manufacturer that will be distributed immediately along with helmets and bulletproof vests to “hundreds of towns.”
This is intended to form “civilian security teams” – in other words, Jewish extremist pogrom groups.Ben-Gvir is urging them to prepare for a “Guardian of the Walls 2” – a reference to Israel’s 11-day killing spreeof Palestinians in Gaza in May 2021, which triggered an uprising across historic Palestine.
At that time, Jewish Israeli extremists carried out organized pogroms against Palestinian citizens of Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Planning violence and terror online
The chats include members discussing weapons and how to obtain them and planning violence and terror against Palestinians.
They’ve also exchanged information on how to make Molotov cocktails, when and were to meet up to attack Palestinians and what weapons to bring. They also share tips on how to disguise themselves.
All of this takes place amid a toxic stew of racism against Palestinians with which they rile one another up.
“We will also carry out a lynch there on some Arab car,” one user said in a group.
In another, someone calls for the “burning” of Jisr al-Zarqa, a Palestinian town in Israel’s northern coast.
“Come to the coastal road, you fags,” he adds. A picture of what appears to be a Molotov cocktail is attached to his messages.
“Let’s start a terrorist organization,” suggests another Jewish extremist. One of his comrades responds, “Alright we need weaponry.”
One group on Telegram titled Am Yisrael Chai (“The Jewish People Lives”), sets the following rules for its 148 members: “Post every weapon or means of self-defense you want, without porn or graphic images, and I am against selling to Arabs, call me whatever you want, I won’t accept it, I prefer no attacks in the country [on Jews].”Group members discuss attacks on Palestinian citizens of Israel living near Bat Yam, a town south of Tel Aviv and Jaffa.
“Gang it seems we will head out to fuck the Arabs tomorrow at night in the area of The Border Bakery between Bat Yam and Jaffa. Whoever is interested should join us,” one user says.
“We will split up and stay in touch by telephone, we will be dispersed everywhere, more than 50 people.”
In another chat, Israelis discuss attacking Palestinians in Jerusalem. One user threatens that “Zion Square will be soaked with blood tonight” – referring to a site in the occupied city.
Jewish extremists call on the kidnapping of Palestinians in multiple chats, including children.
“We must kidnap Arabs, kidnap terrorists, at least three to four,” one writes.
“We want to organize a few people to catch some Arab and to beat him up a little, to seek them out like Pokemon,” writes another.
“Who’s with me to snatch some cousin?” one user writes in a chat, referring to a Palestinian, “I’ll open him up with [uninterpreted] remove a few things from his body.”
In another chat, one calls for the kidnapping of Palestinian children from Hebron.
“Sorry but it’s already unclear to me who is a good Arab and who is bad, they should all get the hell out of here, without clarifying who is good and who is bad. There is no place for Arabs in this state.”
The same user says, “It’s no mistake to drive to Hebron and collect a few small children.”
In another chat, a user incites attacks on Palestinian workers inside Israel.
Israeli authorities have detained hundreds of Palestinians with work permits inside Israel, and transferred over a thousand to the occupied West Bank, UN OCHA said.
“Friends, start from when you see construction workers and rip them apart,” he says. “Humiliate them.”
“Every Arab that you see on the street, fuck him and film it,” one writes in another chat.
“Burn Arab businesses,” the user adds.
In another chat shared by FakeReporter, Jewish extremists call for a second Nakba.
“Here we won’t have Guardian of the Walls 2. There will be Nakba 2,” one says.
“We need to turn the state upside down, like in Guardian of the Walls, to fuck all the Arabs,” says another.
While the hatred and violence of the Israeli Jewish extremists is overwhelmingly focused on Palestinians, Jews can be targeted as well if they are not deemed sufficiently racist.
Israel Frey, a leftist Israeli journalist, was harassed by extremist Jewish fanatics on Saturday night.
They gathered around his house and shouted “traitor” because he posted a video praying for Palestinian victims in Gaza.
Frey reported to his confidants in real time that extremists were throwing flares at his building as others attempted to break into his apartment. The police had to come and escort him and his family out of their apartment.
But Frey said officers spat on him, elbowed him and accused him of “supporting Hamas.”
The police denied that they spat on Frey or subjected him to violence.
Frey’s address was circulated in WhatsApp groups where Jewish Israeli fanatics organize attacks, an Israeli journalist with news website Ynet reported.
Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada. Translations by David Sheen.