Israelis donate over £300,000 to victims of settler riots

The violence over the weekend is the latest in nearly a month of escalating bloodshed


This picture taken on February 27, 2023 shows an aerial view of a scrapyard where cars were torched overnight, in the Palestinian town of Huwara near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. - Two Israelis living in the Har Bracha settlement near Nablus were killed on February 26 in a "Palestinian terror attack", officials said, sparking violence in which a Palestinian man was killed, while settlers torched homes in revenge. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP) (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli citizens have raised over £300,000 through an online fundraising campaign for the victims of Sunday’s Jewish settler violence in the West Bank Palestinian town of Huwara.

In response to the settler violence, and after footage emerged on Israeli social media showing buildings and cars in the small Palestinian town engulfed in flames, some Israelis wanted to help.

Labour Party member Yaya Pink launched the online fundraising campaign on Monday morning. Within 24 hours the campaign shot past its target of one million shekels (£225,000).

The campaign’s purpose reads: “A donation to the innocent residents of Huwara, whose houses were burned down yesterday by Jewish rioters and with support of elected officials. As a religious [person] and a Zionist, this is not my Judaism.”

It adds: “Yesterday there was a very serious attack in which two Jewish brothers, the late [Hillel and Yagel Yaniv], were murdered.

“While the security forces were chasing the despicable terrorist, and hours after the murder, hundreds of Jews rioted in Huwara. Even out of enormous rage and terrible pain, we must not lose our [humanity]. This is not our Judaism.”

Following the murder of brothers Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, 21 and 19, by a Palestinian gunman in the settlement town of Har Brakha on Sunday, an estimated 400 Jewish settlers bent on revenge set fire to over 75 Palestinian homes and 100 cars in the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara later that day.

Footage from social media showed buildings and cars engulfed in flames. As a result of the violence, one 37-year-old Palestinian man died due to gunshot wounds and approximately 100 were injured, mostly due to tear gas.

On Twitter, the UK’s Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan condemned settler violence and called those responsible to be brought to justice.

President Isaac Herzog condemned the settlers as lawbreakers, saying: “Taking the law into one’s hands, rioting and committing violence against innocents – this is not our way, and I express my forceful condemnation.

“We must allow the IDF, the police and the security forces to apprehend the despicable terrorist and restore order immediately.”

Meanwhile, MK Zvika Fogel, a member of Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit Party, praised the burning of Arab villages “when the army doesn’t act”.

During a radio interview, Fogel said: “After murders like those yesterday, when the army doesn’t take action, villages need to burn,” for which he received widespread condemnation from colleagues.

Opposition Leader and former Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Fogel should be imprisoned for his incendiary remarks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for calm, and urged against settler and vigilante violence. He said in a video statement, “I ask that when blood is boiling and the spirit is hot, don’t take the law into your hands.”

The funeral for Hillel and Yagel Yaniv, who were shot several times whilst in their car on the way to Yeshiva, took place on Monday in Jerusalem, in the presence of thousands of mourners.

At the funeral, the boys’ mother, Esti Yaniv, said: “People, we are brothers. We love the country, we love the army and we want security,

“The army is everyone’s and we shouldn’t use it for anything political.”

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