Violence by Israeli forces and settlers has escalated sharply over the last six weeks, in a year that is already the deadliest for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank in 20 years. With all eyes on Gaza, where Israel has killed well over 11,000 Palestinians, about half of them children, the West Bank is treated by journalists, policymakers, analysts, and Israel itself as a separate, distinct front, as if compartmentalized. Israel’s head of the Shin Bet, the country’s internal security service, has warned that settler violence could contribute to the West Bank “erupting,” hurting Israel’s war in Gaza. The U.S. has been urging Israel repeatedly to rein in settler violence in the West Bank, warning that it could become another front in this war. “They’re attacking Palestinians in places they’re entitled to be,” President Joe Biden said. But the West Bank already is a front; it is part of the same war.
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