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Pregnant woman, 3 other Palestinians said injured by settler rock throwing

PA news agency says woman, who is 9-months pregnant, was seriously hurt by stones thrown at vehicle she was traveling in near West Bank town of Tursmusaya; no comment from police

A car belonging to four Palestinians allegedly attacked with rocks by a group of settlers close to Turmus Ayya in the West Bank, September 3, 2020 (Credit: Palestinian Red Crescent)
A car belonging to four Palestinians allegedly attacked with rocks by a group of settlers close to Turmus Ayya in the West Bank, September 3, 2020 (Credit: Palestinian Red Crescent)

A pregnant woman and three other Palestinians were injured after Israeli settlers threw stones at the car they were traveling in, the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency said Friday.

The woman, who was 9-months pregnant, was seriously injured, according to Wafa, which said the incident occurred late Wednesday near the West Bank town of Tursmusaya.

She and the three other passengers of the vehicle were taken to a hospital in Ramallah for medical treatment. All four are residents of Kafr Malik, near Ramallah.

Witnesses told the Yesh Din rights group that the attack occurred on a highway between the Palestinian villages of A-Sawiya and Tursmusaya. They said a group of around 60 settlers gathered by Route 60, a highway which crosses the West Bank, and began throwing stones at Palestinian cars in the area.

As the family attempted to flee, the settlers continued throwing stones, according to Yesh Din.

At least two other vehicles were damaged in the attack, according to the rights group.

The wounded pregnant woman was hospitalized after being struck in the head by a rock. The rest of the occupants of the vehicle, her husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law suffered wounds to various parts of their bodies, according to Yesh Din.

There was no immediate comment from police on the matter.

The reported stone throwing recalled a similar incident in 2018 in which a Palestinian mother of eight was killed after a 16-year-old Israeli allegedly hurled a massive rock at the car she was traveling in.

It also came on the heels of a series of suspected hate crimes against Palestinians.

According to the Yesh Din rights group, there has been a recent surge in racist attacks against Palestinians and their property, allegedly by far-right settlers.

While most far-right attacks have targeted homes, businesses, agricultural holdings and cars, there have also been attacks on mosques in Palestinian towns and Arab Israeli communities. In late July, arsonists reportedly burned a mosque in al-Bireh, outside Ramallah, and graffitied Hebrew slogans at the scene.

Despite dozens of hate crimes targeting Palestinians and their property over the past year, arrests of suspects have been exceedingly rare.

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