Israel rules claim by 2 Palestinians of assault by Israelis as false

Officials say probe shows men beaten in Nablus were attacked by locals over a criminal dispute

Illustrative: Israeli security police stand near the Otniel Junction in the southern West Bank on November 13, 2015. (Yonatan SIndel/Flash90)
Illustrative: Israeli security police stand near the Otniel Junction in the southern West Bank on November 13, 2015. (Yonatan SIndel/Flash90)

Israel’s main liaison body to the Palestinians said Friday morning a claim by two Palestinians that they had been beaten by Israelis at a checkpoint had been determined to be false.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said in a statement that a probe in coordination with Palestinian authorities had shown the two were attacked by Palestinians in an apartment in Nablus.

It said the incident was likely related to criminal matters.

On Thursday Israeli police had said they would investigate claims by the pair that they were assaulted by Israelis in the northern West Bank.

The Palestinians, residents of the town of Kafr Qallil, said they were attacked and injured early Thursday by a number of Israelis and required medical care, according to police.

The Red Crescent said one of them was moderately injured and the other lightly wounded.

They were named by the Ma’an news agency as Suleiman Idris Qanna, 20, and Yahiya Naim Qanna, 23.

Israel Radio reported that their car was also damaged in the incident.

A relative of one of the men told Ma’an they were “brutally” kicked and beaten with guns and sticks by a group of Israelis at a checkpoint near Nablus. Neither police nor Palestinian media reported on a motive for the alleged assault.

The incident came after a number of recent so-called “price tag” attacks, in which Jewish extremists have damaged property following Palestinian violence or state demolition of illegal settlement homes in the West Bank.

Palestinian olive groves, mosques, and churches have been targeted by far-right vandals in recent years, as have dovish Israeli rights groups and even Israeli military bases.

Police have opened probes into dozens of hate crime attacks believed to have been perpetrated by Israeli settlers in recent months. While a number of arrests have been made, the only suspects that had been behind bars for the crimes were released last week without any charges filed.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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