Israeli settlers filmed attacking Palestinian family in West Bank
A group of masked Jewish settlers have attacked Palestinian family with young children in the occupied West Bank with rocks on Saturday, video footage reveals.
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The Israeli human rights organization, Yesh Din, said a group of masked settlers from Yitzhar settlement attacked a family in the neighboring Palestinian village of Urif south of Nablus with stones on Saturday.
Security camera footage from the village shows a Palestinian mother carrying a child into a car, while other family members walk around it. The settlers then come running down the road and start hurling stones at them.
Afterwards, the mother and a family member rush to grab their children and then flee to the house.
According to Urif residents, some 50 settlers stormed the village's eastern neighborhood, smashing car windows and throwing stones at houses.
The Israeli military said the "friction" between Palestinians and Israelis ended when soldiers and policemen dispersed the crowd. However, they did not arrest any settlers.
The United Nations said in a February report that acts of violence and vandalism committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property have risen since the beginning of 2019.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories has been a major sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have stalled since 2014.
Separately, settlers opened fire at a Palestinian who threw rocks at Israeli-plated cars near the West Bank village of Hawara earlier this month, human rights group B’tselem said Sunday.
After one of the rocks hit a settler’s vehicle, shots were “apparently” fired from inside the car. The settler, Yehoshua Sherman, then got out of his car and opened fire on Abdel Fattah who was "crouching" near dumpsters.
Another setter then exited his truck and joined Sherman and together, the two fired several more rounds at Abdel Fattah who was “lying wounded on the ground,” the report said.
“There was clearly no justification whatsoever for the additional shots that Sherman and the truck driver fired at [Abdel Fattah] when he was already lying injured on the ground,” it said.
The Israeli military said Abdel Fattah “was shot by civilians and neutralized after hurling stones at Israeli cars.” It claimed that the Palestinian man had later approached “one of the cars and attempted to carry out a stabbing attack.”
B’tselem’s spokesman Amit Gilutz stressed that the group had not learned of any stabbing attempt in its investigation of the incident earlier this month.
The group also accused Israeli forces of preventing the settlers from being held accountable. According to B’tselem, soldiers erased the footage of the incident on a nearby shop’s video recording system.
“They did nothing to arrest the two settlers, promptly drove the Palestinians away from the scene, and then addressed the urgent task of eliminating any footage of the incident, to ensure that the truth never comes to light and the shooters would not face any charges or be held accountable in any way,” it said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting that it was absurd “to come and put on trial US or Israeli soldiers."
Netanyahu made the remarks as he lauded the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision last week to reject a request to investigate US forces for possible war crimes in Afghanistan.
The Israeli premier said the Hague-based court’s decision “corrects an injustice and will have far-reaching implications for the functioning of the international system" regarding Israel.
Neither the US nor Israel have ratified the Rome Statute, which established the court in the first place.
An investigation mandated by the UN Human Rights Council into Israel's deadly crackdown on the 2018 anti-occupation rallies in the Gaza Strip has said the regime may have perpetrated “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity.”