The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

In the West Bank, State and Settler Violence

Nov 13, 2023

The following article is translated from Issue 2884, November 08, 2023, of Lutte Ouvrière, the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group in France.

The war waged by the Israeli army against the people of Gaza is also taking place in the West Bank. Not only are Palestinians being bombed, they are also exposed to the murderous violence of settlers.

Since October 7, 140 Palestinians have been killed there, some of them by Israeli settlers.

The number of settlers appropriating Palestinian land has grown rapidly in recent years, and now stands at almost half a million. They form the electoral base and troops of an increasingly radical far right. Israel’s Finance Minister and National Security Minister are themselves West Bank settlers. The second, Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of the far-right Jewish Power party, has been directly involved in armed violence against Palestinians in recent years.

But after October 7, the far-right settler militias mobilized even more, aided and abetted by the state. Ben Gvir announced the free distribution of 10,000 firearms to volunteer settlers, as well as the relaxation of rules on gun permits. Six days a week, settlers from one of the largest Jewish settlements, Gush Etzion, train at a center, including many trainees who had never handled a weapon before.

Some of the settlers, protected by the army, freely unleash their hatred on the Palestinian inhabitants. One Palestinian was attacked by a group of armed settlers and killed while harvesting olives from his trees near a settlement.

The policy of Israel’s rulers, who pursue the colonization of the West Bank above all, has at the same time encouraged the development of this extreme right-wing group, which relies essentially on the settlers. Ready to justify their exactions in the name of the Bible, they can murder Palestinian inhabitants with impunity, under the protection of the army and the benevolent gaze of the imperialist rulers. But it is Israeli society as a whole that is degraded by militarism and racism.