Violence and impunity in the West Bank during the COVID-19 pandemic

The failure of Israeli authorities to prevent settler violence against Palestinians, and its contribution to de facto annexation of Palestinian land

The spread of COVID-19 has brought life to a halt throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) – and has spurred the formation of a unity government in Israel. However, rather than demonstrating the urgency of achieving an equitable, rights-based resolution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the pandemic has given cover to increased violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians and an accelerated effort by the Israeli government to formally annex Palestinian lands in the West Bank.

Oxfam calls upon the Israeli government to ensure the protection of the Palestinian population, which includes the application of the rule of law in relation to the escalating violence during the pandemic and ongoing human rights violations. Israel must stop implementing policies and practices that are illegal under international law and harm the livelihoods of Palestinian civilians, especially during the pandemic.