Settlers accused of beating Palestinians in northern West Bank

Two men require hospitalization after attack near town of Burqa north of Nablus, allegedly by group from nearby illegal settlement of Homesh; shepherd also reportedly assaulted

A Palestinian man after being allegedly beaten by Israeli settlers on April 30, 2023. (via WAFA)
A Palestinian man after being allegedly beaten by Israeli settlers on April 30, 2023. (via WAFA)

Three Palestinians in the West Bank were allegedly beaten by Israeli settlers in separate incidents Sunday, Palestinian authorities and an Israeli rights group said.

Two victims, from the Palestinian town of Burqa, were taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus for treatment after being attacked, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The two had been on the lands of the town, in the northern West Bank, when the assault occurred, the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news service said.

Settlers who set upon the pair hurled rocks at them, restrained them and beat them with rods, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

It said some seven people who arrived by car took part in the attack.

In pictures, one of the victims can be seen with extensive cuts on his face and his shirt and pants spattered with blood.

WAFA, citing a local activist, said the group of assailants had come from Homesh, a former settlement where Israelis have continued to maintain a yeshiva under the tacit approval of the government.

Last week, several lawmakers from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition participated in a celebratory prayer event on the hilltop, after they repealed a law prohibiting future settlement activity there.

Elsewhere, a Palestinian shepherd grazing his flock was beaten by Israeli settlers Sunday, WAFA reported. It said 14 sheep were stolen in the attack, which occurred near the town of Aqrabah, south of Nablus.

There was no word on the extent of the shepherd’s injuries.

There was no immediate Israeli comment on either alleged attack.

Recent months have seen a rise in attacks by settlers against Palestinians and Israeli security forces, especially in the northern West Bank.

Palestinians inspect a damaged house and scorched cars in the town of Huwara, near the West Bank city of Nablus, February 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Earlier this year, settlers staged a riot in the Palestinian town of Huwara to take revenge following a deadly shooting attack that killed a pair of Israeli brothers driving through, setting fire to homes and cars.

While there is a long history of settler attacks on Palestinians, critics allege that Israeli extremists in the West Bank have become further emboldened by the recent rise of far-right politicians, who make up a significant chunk of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition.

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