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Police charge settler over violent attack of Palestinians, activists

Left-wing activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman after an alleged attack by Israeli settlers near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin on Friday, November 12, 2021 (credit: Shai Kendler)
Left-wing activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman after an alleged attack by Israeli settlers near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin on Friday, November 12, 2021 (credit: Shai Kendler)

Israel Police announce that a 19-year-old Jewish Israeli from central Israel has been charged for attacking Palestinian olive harvesters near the settlement of Bat Ayin in the West Bank.

The attack, which took place in mid-November, saw dozens of Israelis attack Palestinians and left-wing Israeli activists with clubs and stones, according to witnesses. Several were injured, including an Israeli woman who was hospitalized after being struck on the head with clubs.

According to police, the teenager assaulted at least two people on the scene, including the Israeli woman. The identity of the second victim was not immediately clear.

“While masked and holding a wood branch, the defendant split from the main group, approached the victim and hit her on the legs and head with the branch. The defendant proceeded to another person and also hit him in the face,” a spokesperson for Israel Police’s West Bank division says.

While a police spokesperson said at the time that at least 20 Israelis were involved in the assault, only a few arrests were made and one indictment was issued. Rights groups say Israeli authorities seldom crack down on Jewish nationalist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank; arrests are rare, and the vast majority of cases are closed without charges.

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