Video shows West Bank settlers firing on Palestinians


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A video distributed by an Israeli human rights organization shows Jewish settlers firing at a group of rock-throwing Palestinians as Israeli soldiers look on.

Settlers from the West Bank village of Yitzhar clashed May 19 with residents of the Palestinian village Asira al-Qibliya. A Palestinian man, 24, suffered head injuries in the gunfire. The video released Sunday by B’tselem shows a group of Palestinian men picking up and carrying the injured man, and running with him toward an ambulance.

It also shows Palestinians and settlers hurling rocks at each other as smoke rises from fires started in the underbrush. Both sides claim that the other began the rock throwing and set the fires.

At least three Israeli soldiers stood with the settlers and did not intervene as the settlers fired on the rock-throwing Palestinians.

B’tselem has called on the Judea and Samaria Police to arrest the settlers who fired on the Palestinians. The group also has asked the Military Police to open an investigation into the soldiers who did not intervene to protect the Palestinians.

A Yitzhar spokesman told Israeli media that the men carrying rifles were part of the settlement’s security service. 

"This is the third consecutive Shabbat in which Arabs set fire in an attempt to target the western neighborhood of Yitzhar. The firefighting team was attacked by an inflamed mob of hundreds of rioters who threw rocks at them,” Yitzhar officials said in a statement.


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