Australia condemns settler violence in the West Bank

Australia has called on Israel to take immediate action over a rising number of violent acts against Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank.

In a joint statement with 13 other nations including France and the United Kingdom, Australia condemned what was described as "record high" violence from extremist settlers.

Since the start of October, settlers have committed more than 340 violent attacks against Palestinian people in the West Bank, the statement said.

Eight Palestinian civilians have been killed, more than 80 have been injured and 1026 people forced out of their homes.

The joint statement, also signed by the European Union, accused extremist settlers of terrorising Palestinian communities.

"We reiterate our position that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law and remind Israel of its obligations under international law," the statement said.

"This rise in extremist settler violence committed against Palestinians is unacceptable. 

"Israel, as the occupying power, must protect the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank."

The joint statement noted the Israeli government last month said it would take action against violent perpetrators. 

But Australia and the other nations said proactive steps must be taken to ensure the immediate protection of Palestinian communities.

"Words are important, but must now be translated into action," the statement read.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia had grave concerns about the attacks on Palestinian people in the West Bank.

"Effective and immediate action is needed to ensure civilians are protected, perpetrators are held to account and tensions are not inflamed further," she posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The latest upsurge in a long history of violence in the region was sparked when fighters from Hamas - considered a terrorist group by the Australian government - crossed a border fence into southern Israel, killing 1200 Israelis and taking more than 200 hostages on October 7.

Since then, more than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Most of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have been driven from their homes and face starvation as Israel's bombing campaign stretches into its third month.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store