Israeli settlers have ramped up attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank since the coronavirus crisis first began, a new report from the left-wing NGO B’Tselem said.The NGO recorded 23 attacks against Palestinians by settlers in the first three weeks of April, and a total of 23 attacks were recorded in March. Eleven of these incidents were in mid-March, taking place after the Health Ministry imposed strict restrictions on movement throughout the country as a means of stemming the spread of the virus. However, B’Tselem argues that the settlers are exploiting the lockdown measures for their attacks.The amount of attacks in March and April is a massive increase from the amount of attacks the organization recorded in January (11 total) and February (12 total). These violent incidents saw settlers physically assault Palestinians with clubs, stones, dogs, axes, electroshock weapons and in some cases with firearms, according to B’Tselem. The organization’s report added that some attacks saw cars being set on fire, homes attacked, livestock stolen and olive trees and other crops uprooted.While these incidents were spread throughout the West Bank, there were some areas with an especially high concentration. This includes the South Hebron Hills, the Shilo area and the Halamish area.Reports of “almost daily” harassment by settlers against Palestinians were also obtained in the Jordan Valley, with B’Tselem claiming that settlers let their livestock graze on Palestinian fields.While one incident was widely reported in Israeli media, when a group of settlers attacked Palestinians while they were meant to be self-isolating near the Dead Sea, others, the report claims, were overlooked. One notable incident that was not widely reported in Israeli media was an April 16 incident when two brothers from the al-Jalazun refugee camp were attacked by settlers and severely injured.“I could barely protect my head and face from the blows. Someone hit me hard on the mouth and I could feel my front teeth break. Blood started trickling into my mouth and down my face,” one of the brothers told B’Tselem.“I shouted and cried out: ‘For God’s sake, what did I do to you? Do you have no mercy? You’re killing me. Have mercy.’ But none of them listened.“At some point, I collapsed. I had no strength left. Then they tied my hands behind my back with some rope. The armed settler pointed his gun at my head and cocked it, as if he was going to shoot me in the head. I started reciting the ‘shahada’ over and over: ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.’ I thought my time had come to [an end].”Rather than being isolated incidents, B’Tselem argues that the violence is a part of a coordinated effort between settlers and Israeli authorities. The report cites that five of eight attacks on Palestinian homes in the month of March took place while soldiers both allowed and participated in the violence.“This is part of Israel’s strategy to encourage the dispossession of Palestinians from growing areas throughout the West Bank, which paves the state’s way to take over more land and resources. The fact that this violence has exacerbated during a global pandemic adds another layer of brutality to Israel’s policy,” the report concludes.However, Israeli authorities have taken action against illegal activity by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. On Thursday night, Border Police took actions against settlers from Yizhar after they attempted to rebuild illegally-built homes that were demolished the previous day.The Yitzhar settlement accused the Civil Administration of carrying out a “price tag” attack on the settlement through the demolitions.