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Settlers filmed throwing stones at Palestinians, attacking left-wing activists

Israeli military confirms incident took place, says Palestinians also threw rocks at troops

Settlers who allegedly attacked Palestinians in the south Hebron hills near the Palestinian town of al-Tuwani on April 24, 2021. (Eyal Huravni/ B'Tselem)
Settlers who allegedly attacked Palestinians in the south Hebron hills near the Palestinian town of al-Tuwani on April 24, 2021. (Eyal Huravni/ B'Tselem)

Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians and left-wing activists in the south Hebron hills on Saturday, the B’Tselem rights group reported.

In a video from the scene, figures could be seen hurling stones at a car belonging to local Palestinians from al-Tuwani. Two Palestinians and two left-wing Israeli activists were injured in the incident, the latter two allegedly having been beaten by settlers, according to B’Tselem.

A spokesperson for the Israel Police’s West Bank Division did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to al-Tuwani resident Suleiman al-Adra, who was present at the scene, a number of residents headed out to agricultural areas outside the village to work the land on Saturday. The plot lies around a kilometer from the town — directly between al-Tuwani and the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on, al-Adra said.

“Slowly, more and more settlers arrived, and some of them had weapons,” he told The Times of Israel.

The plot lies about a kilometer away from al-Tuwani, but only a few hundred meters from Havat Ma’on. The outpost, in which some 20 families live, is considered illegal under Israeli law.

One settler fired two warning shots in an attempt to scare the Palestinians away from the area, al-Adra said.

Left-wing Israeli activists called the army and police to intervene, while Palestinians called for backup from al-Tuwani.

“It took them over an hour to show up. When they did, they stood behind the settlers and fired tear gas and stun grenades at us,” al-Adra said.

Two Israeli left-wing activists — including David Shulman, the Israel Prize laureate who founded the radical left group Ta’ayush — told the Haaretz daily that they had both been attacked by settlers at the scene.

When they sought to film the settlers from up close, the settlers hurled stones at them and chased them away before beating them, Shulman told Haaretz. In a video from the scene, Hebrew-speaking masked figures can be seen hurling stones at Shulman in an effort to prevent him from filming them.

The Israeli military said it was familiar with the incident, but added that Palestinians also threw stones at Israeli soldiers. Nonetheless, no stone-throwing by Palestinians could be seen in videos on social media.

The army did not conduct any arrests at the scene, either of Palestinians or of Israelis, an Israeli military spokesperson confirmed.

“It was a relatively small force of troops in comparison to all those involved in the clashes. They couldn’t arrest dozens of people, so they worked to contain the friction with riot dispersal tools,” the spokesperson said.

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