While yesterday’s attack on a mosque in the occupied West Bank played nicely into the narrative of settlers as a universally hawkish faction determined to stop the peace process at any cost (and this certainly seems to be the way Israeli politicians try to pander to them), today’s comments reveal a seldom seen split in the settlers.
The attack saw carpets and Qurans burnt inside the mosque and threats scrawled in Hebrew on the walls throughout the mosque. It was one of many “price tag” attacks against Palestinians by settler groups showing their opposition to a peace deal. Today the scene was something quite different, as settlers from a pro-peace faction gathered at the site to condemn the attack and to give gifts of new Qurans to the village.
Yet nothing comes easy in the West Bank, and the plan for these settlers to join with Palestinians in a pro-peace demonstration were foiled by the Israeli military, which blocked them from attending and later clashed with them.
Meanwhile, more attacks seem to be in the offing, as a right wing settler group condemned the plans of the Israeli government to shutter an illegally built synagogue in a remote settlement and threatened to set Palestinian farmlands on fire and launch more “price tag” attacks if the Israeli government doesn’t back down.