Police probe alleged settler attack on Palestinians
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Police probe alleged settler attack on Palestinians

Four West Bank residents say over a dozen outpost settlers assaulted them during olive harvest

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A group of settlers seen returning to an outpost near the settlement of Talmon, in the West Bank allegedly after an attack on local Palestinians (YouTube/ Haaretz)
A group of settlers seen returning to an outpost near the settlement of Talmon, in the West Bank allegedly after an attack on local Palestinians (YouTube/ Haaretz)

Israeli police have taken testimonies from two Palestinians who said they were attacked, along with two others, by a gang of Israeli settlers in the central West Bank.

According to a Haaretz report Sunday, the four Palestinians were taken to Ramallah hospital for treatment after the incident, which allegedly took place a day earlier, in a wadi near the village of Janiya, close to the Talmon settlement.

No arrests have been made so far. Police told Haaretz that they have no information about the incident other than what they were told by the victims.

The Palestinians said they were harvesting olives in the wadi on private Palestinian land that they could access without obtaining a permit from the IDF, the report said.

As they worked they were set upon by a gang of some 20 settlers from a nearby outpost, near the settlement of Talmon. The victims told police the settlers were masked and assaulted them with sticks, beams and rocks.

The victims telephoned to Janiya for assistance and villagers went down into the wadi to help the injured Palestinians. A resident of the village filmed a group of four men coming up out of the wadi where the incident occurred and returning to the outpost, a collection of makeshift huts that lies several hundred meters from Talmon.

Security forces told Haaretz that they know nothing about the tape.

The Palestinian Maan news agency reported that the victims were all members of the Abu Fekheideh family, and one of them was seriously injured in the head.

Outposts, usually set up on the outskirts of existing settlements, are established without approval from Israeli authorities by rogue settler groups.

There are some 10 million olive trees in the West Bank and the crop is critical to the Palestinian economy, employing 100,000 workers and providing up to $100 million in revenue each year.

The annual olive harvest has sparked occasional violent outbursts between Israeli settlers and their Palestinian neighbors.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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