Following the Hamas militant group's 7 October attacks and Israel's subsequent ground offensive in Gaza, there have been apparent reprisals against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
With the world’s attention on Gaza and the humanitarian crisis there, the violence of war has also erupted in the West Bank. Israeli settler attacks have surged at an unprecedented rate, according to the United Nations.
The escalation has spread fear, deepened despair, and robbed Palestinians of their livelihoods and their homes.
Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has announced the purchase of 10,000 rifles for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Approximately 200 Palestinians in the West Bank have lost their lives.
In East Jerusalem, residents like 73-year-old Fahkri Abu Diab are facing increased threats, he has received notice that his home, a property he has lived in his entire life, will be demolished.
“I know they’ll come in to punish me if they know I speak with the media," Diab told Euronews. "Because they take me before to the jail – for four days. They said, ‘You always speak with the media; you always speak with the solidarity people’. How now if I speak?
“But now I said if they want to punish me, okay, they punish me -- collective punishment. I want to say what's happening in our village, our city, in our area; maybe somebody in the world will come to help us – come to know what’s happening to us”.
Despite legal experts asserting that such house demolitions are illegal under international humanitarian law, there is a growing sense of hopelessness in the legal system among Palestinians.
Aviv Tetarsky from Israeli NGO Ir Amin Israeli NGO, which works for peace in the region, says tensions are rising:
“The authorities, instead of increasing calm, creating forms of communication, relaxing the tensions are just feeding it through actually handing out weapons. Politicians are inciting. And nobody is actually offering Israelis and Palestinians any way to live together after Israelis were butchered, and Palestinians are being butchered in Gaza. And we’re supposed to somehow handle this situation.”
Despite these concerns, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem denies an increase in violence and emphasises that nobody is above the law.