The settlers look like soldiers. They come at night, but sometimes during the day, wearing army uniforms. They execute operations against Palestinians, beating us, taking our phones and smashing them to prevent us from documenting their terror. The settlers steal things from our homes and take our money. And in the end, their message is always the same: “You have 24 hours to flee, or we will shoot you.”
Over the last three years, settler violence steadily increased day after day. Those of us who live in villages near the settlements know these settlers, especially the violent ones who assault and try to expel us. Four days ago, they came to my village at night. They forcibly entered my neighbor’s home and detained all the men and held them at gunpoint. Then they took them outside the house, and with an M16 gun pointed to the head of the house owner, they told him he had two options, and there wasn’t a third: “Leave or die.”
Things have never been scarier for us. We tried to call the Israeli police to tell them what their citizens are doing to us. They told us we are in a state of war, and that they are powerless to do anything. But even last year, my home was raided in the night by the IDF. They blindfolded and arrested me, terrifying my family, only to release me later without charge but with a stern warning: Stop “causing all the trouble in the area.” Since the beginning of the war to the south, settler violence has increased, but for us, it did not begin on Oct. 7.
None of us are able to so much as disagree with the settlers, let alone fight back, because killing a Palestinian today is very, very easy. If anyone so much as objects to the settlers, they will shoot them immediately. The settlers tell us there is no law because we are at war, and that our land is now forbidden to us, and that it now belongs to Israel. And if we stay, we will die.
There is no solution for us. In light of war and what is going on, the future is very, very bleak for us Palestinians. I don’t see a future. But even so, we are living on the hope that the conscience of the free world will change this situation, and give us a small ray of hope for the future.
This has to stop. Israel has every right to defend itself, but has no right whatsoever to illegally occupy and colonize, nor to terrorize and kill people in order to rob them off the land where they live. Shallom 🇮🇱 Salaam 🇵🇸