WAFA sources said that two masked settlers attempted to carry out an attack against the mosque during the dawn prayers, but that the attempt failed, while settlers fled the scene and were seen running toward the illegal settlement of Ramat Yishai. The attack attempt was caught on surveillance cameras placed in the area.
Moreover, one of the residents living near the mosque reported his daughter as witnessing the two armed settlers from her window at dawn, stating that the presence of a taxi cab which stopped in front of the mosque to drop off one of the worshipers to attend the dawn prayers, prevented them from resuming with their attack plan and forced them to flee the scene. Residents chased after them, but did not manage to catch them.
In an analysis conducted by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) on Israeli settlers' attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory during the year 2014, ARIJ recorded 763 Israeli settler groups’ attacks against civilians, lands, properties, livestock, and agriculture. These attacks inflicted huge losses and suffering among Palestinians.
ARIJ also recorded a total of 226 attacks that were committed by settlers against mosques, includingAl-Aqsa Mosque, and churches and monasteries through spray-paiting racist slogans against Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike), setting mosques ablaze, attacking worshipers, which showed the feelings of hatred and extremism these settlers hold for Palestinians, reported POICA. It said that most of the violations that have been recorded during the year 2014 were in the vicinity of Israeli settlements and outposts.
According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli security forces do not always deploy in advance to protect Palestinians from settler violence, even when such violence could be anticipated. “In some cases, rather than restricting violent settlers, Israeli security forces impose restrictions on the Palestinians.”
“As the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel is obligated to maintain public order and ensure the safety of the Palestinians in the West Bank, who are classified a protected population in international law,” says B’Tselem.
“The establishment of settlements on the West Bank violates international humanitarian law, which establishes the principles applying during war and occupation. Moreover, the settlements lead to the infringement of international human rights law,” stated B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
The center added that, “International humanitarian law prohibits the occupying power to transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49).”
“The Hague Regulations prohibit the occupying power to undertake permanent changes in the occupied area, unless these are due to military needs in the narrow sense of the term, or unless they are undertaken for the benefit of the local population,” added the center.