Shootings, assaults, arson: One week of activity by Israeli settlers

In just the last seven days, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has documented at least three separate instances of settler violence and abuse. The shootings, armed assaults, unarmed assaults, willful destruction of private property, and arson attacks are no longer hidden from public view, as has been the claim for years now. In much the same vein as the anti-African pogroms that took place in Israel days ago, the violence is meant to intimidate and even kill.

May 19, 2012: ‘Asira Al-Qibliya

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At 0:18, a settler kneels and aims his pistol at a group of Palestinian men and youth. Five shots are fired. At about 0:36, the Palestinian men discover that one male is wounded. He is bleeding from a bullet wound to the left side of his neck or face.

According to B’Tselem’s press release, a ground of Israeli settlers, some masked, began hurling rocks at Palestinian residents. Palestinian men hurled rocks back and within a few minutes, Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene. One settler was identified as carrying a standard infantry rifle leading to suspicion that he was a soldier on leave. The soldiers did not stop the settlers from firing at the unarmed group of Palestinians.

May 21, 2012: Southern hills of Al-Khalil

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At 0:09, an Israeli settler can be seen charging a Palestinian with a sickle and holding a B’Tselem issued camera. At 0:12, the settler smashes the camera on the ground and, seconds later, charges the Palestinian once again. At the end of the video, he can be seen attempting to grab hold of the camera filming him.

According to a press release immediately issued by B’Tselem, the settler was from nearby Mitzpe Yair, an outpost illegal under international law as well as Israel’s national law. He and other settlers appeared at the scene after Palestinian farmers attempted to harvest grain the day after the area’s designation as a closed military zone expired. The settler grabbed a B’Tselem field researcher’s camera and smashed it to pieces.

May 26, 2012: ‘Urif

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This footage shows Israeli settlers setting fire to Palestinian olive groves. At 0:27, masked settlers are spotted walking along the edge of a small grove. At 0:42, a fire can be seen erupting between the olive trees.

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Following the arson attack on the Palestinian olive groves, settlers fired live ammunition at Palestinian males who had arrived to the scene. At 0:03, a settler fires three shots. One Palestinian man, age 24, is wounded.

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