A group of settlers were filmed Saturday harassing an Arab Israeli family picnicking in the West Bank, claiming they didn’t have a right to be there because they were Arabs, and calling in IDF soldiers who agreed to oust them from the scene without cause.
In footage uploaded by Lubna Abed El Hadi, several settlers, one of them armed, are seen approaching the Arab Israeli family that was having lunch in nature outside the village of Jibya, north of Ramallah.
The area is not under the jurisdiction of any nearby settlement and is a public area. Nonetheless, the settlers insisted that the Arab Israeli family had no right to be there.
When the family, which included a mother with her baby, refused, the settlers began taking their belonging and pouring their food and drink into the bonfire they had lit.
One of the settlers could be heard telling the family, “You are not Israelis. You are Arabs.”
“We did you a favor by allowing you [Arabs] to remain [in Israel],” he added.
The settlers then called IDF soldiers to the scene and demanded that the Arab family be sent away.
Despite the apparent lack of justification, the soldiers agreed the settlers’ request.
“I don’t want to have to use too much force. You cannot be here,” one of the soldiers was heard telling the family.
The Arab Israeli mother responded, “Is an Israeli not allowed to be in the Carmel mountains?”
“Are you in the Carmel Mountains? You are not allowed to be here…Get out of here. Yalla,” the soldier replied.
In a statement responding to the incident, the IDF said it was aware of the case and that it was being “handled by commanders. The conduct of the soldiers in the incident will be investigated.”
The incident occurred near the extremist illegal outpost Havat Tzvi. The wildcat hilltop community is built on a combination of state land and private Palestinian land.
Last year, two Palestinian brothers were picnicking nearby when they were attacked by a group of settlers from the nearby Ateret settlement who beat them with metal rods.