Violent Israeli Settlers Are Terrorists

So says the US State Department.

The U.S. State Department has included violence by “extremist Israeli settlers” in its 2011 annual report on terrorism around the world.  The Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 lists several incidents including three arson attacks against mosques in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the defacing of Muslim graves in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetry with Hebrew “price tag” graffiti.  The report also refers to an attack by Israeli settlers on IDF soldiers and an IDF military base in the West Bank, noting that it “sparked a public debate in Israel on the phenomena of settler violence”. Such “price tag” incidents are violent acts committed by extremist Israeli settlers in retribution for Israeli government and army actions that they perceive to be anti-settler.  A total of ten mosques were “vandalized or set on fire in attacks that Israeli authorities believed were perpetrated by settlers” in the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2011, according to the report. This has increased from six in 2010 and one in 2009.  The inclusion of settler attacks in the report comes after a Palestinian taxi was attacked with a Molotov cocktail last Thursday, injuring six Palestinians, including two four-year-old children. At the time, the US State Department condemned the incident in the “strongest possible terms”, and urged the Israeli government to take action to bring the perpetrators, who are widely thought to have been settlers, to justice.

A justifiable listing indeed and long overdue.

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