JERUSALEM, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank are becoming increasingly common, Israeli human rights activists say.
In the most recent attacks, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a taxi Aug. 16, causing serious burns to the driver and his passengers, a family heading to the supermarket, and an Arab teenager was beaten by a mob in Jerusalem, The Washington Post reported. The Israeli government also denounced the attack, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledging the perpetrators will be arrested.
Some settlers say attacks are a "price tag" Palestinians must pay for their violence against Jews. The Israeli military, however, reports a decrease in Palestinian violence while the number of attacks by settlers on Palestinians and their property tripled from 2009 to 2011.
Israeli human rights groups say crimes against Palestinians are not investigated or prosecuted with as much enthusiasm. The organization Yesh Din calculated suspects were indicted in fewer than 9 percent of the "ideological crimes" against Palestinians from 2005 to last March.
"It is paramount that the Israeli authorities enforce the rule of law in the territories and protect Palestinian civilians in the territories," said Natan Sachs, a fellow of the Brookings Institution in the United States and one of the authors of a Foreign Affairs article on settler attacks. "It is especially important because right now the peace process is deadlocked. ... If we're expecting many years to come of a similar situation, then the conditions on the ground become more important, not less."