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Netanyahu responsible for settler pogroms and terrorism, US Jewish groups say

Groups say there is little to no serious governmental action to stop settler attacks
Israeli soldiers patrol Huwwara in the occupied West Bank a day after a shooting attack on an Israeli settler's car in the Palestinian town, on 30 March 2023 (AFP)

A joint statement issued by 12 American Jewish groups on Monday blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for violent attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

"As leaders of the American Jewish community, we cannot and will not stand idly by," Haaretz reported the statement as saying, which was signed by groups including the Union for Reform Judaism, the New Israel Fund, J Street and the National Council for Jewish Women.

The groups expressed their "growing anguish and horror" over the recent wave of "violent attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank".

Israeli settler gangs on Sunday morning burned crops in the Palestinian town of Turmusaya, north of Ramallah, only days after the village was subject to a rampage that left at least 3o houses and 70 vehicles on fire. Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinian homes and property in the town of Jalud.

This violence "has not come from nowhere, but is aligned with the Netanyahu government's broader agenda of settlement expansion, deepening of occupation and displacement of Palestinians", the groups said.

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"Prime Minister Netanyahu bears ultimate responsibility for the policies deployed in the West Bank on his watch and for the chilul hashem, or desecration of God's name, that has been unleashed in the form of these despicable violent attacks."

'Netanyahu ultimately responsible'

Israeli settlers rampaged through the Palestinian town of Huwwara in February, in what many analysts and Israeli officials, including Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, labelled a pogrom.

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Such attacks however have only increased after four Israeli settlers were killed in a shooting by a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank last month.

"These attacks began taking place with greater ferocity and frequency, and there is little to no serious governmental action to stop them," the authors of the statement added.

On Monday, Israel launched a large-scale assault on Jenin refugee camp. The death toll of the attack rose to 11 Palestinians after a youth died on Tuesday from Israeli gunfire.

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