Masked Israelis throw stones at Palestinians as IDF looks on, video indicates

Army says that ‘contrary to what is seen in the video,’ soldiers acted to prevent settlers from hurling rocks at Palestinians near Burin village

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent

A group of masked Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians outside a northern West Bank village as IDF soldiers looked on, footage from the Friday incident indicated.

Clashes erupted after a fire that broke out adjacent to the village of Burin spread toward surrounding fields, approaching the Givat Ronen outpost, the Yesh Din rights group said.

As Palestinian farmers worked to extinguish the flames, a group of masked Israeli settlers began throwing rocks at them. Footage relayed from the Rabbis for Human Rights NGO shows IDF soldiers looking on as stones were thrown, lightly injuring one of the activists who filmed the incident.

A spokeswoman for the IDF confirmed the stone throwing by Israeli settlers, but disputed the rights group’s version of the incident. “Contrary to what is seen in the video, IDF soldiers at the scene acted to halt the escalation of violence,” the spokeswoman said. “When Israeli civilians refused to cease throwing rocks, soldiers used riot disposal methods in order to disperse the riot.”

No arrests were made at the scene and the IDF spokeswoman said that no injuries were reported, despite the Yesh Din statement claiming otherwise.

While the rights group said that the fire had spread “after a Palestinian farmer attempted to dispose of agricultural waste,” a resident of the nearby Israeli settlement of Har Bracha told The Times of Israel that the fire had been started by the neighboring Palestinians on purpose in order to burn down the Israeli outpost.

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