Settlers filmed attacking Palestinians, foreign tourists during West Bank hike
A number of Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinians and foreign tourists who were walking near the West Bank city of Jericho on Friday, according to videos of the incident and a woman who was present.
In the clip, a young Jewish man can be seen swinging a stick at the hikers, who recoil and scream as he attacks them.
An unnamed security source told the Haaretz daily that the settlers also attacked the group with pepper spray.
The source also said that soldiers who arrived at the scene escorted the climbers to their bus after the attack, which took place near the village of Badu al-Mu’arrajat in the Jordan Valley.
Neither the military nor the police have commented on the incident and no arrests have been made.
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An Italian woman on the walk said three other members of the group – which included Palestinians, Americans, Italians and French citizens – required hospital treatment after being attacked. She added that six very young settlers were present during the attack.
“When we were near the end [of the hike], settlers arrived with clubs and pepper spray. They prevented us from continuing to walk and started attacking us,” the woman, who was identified only by her first name, Samira, told Haaretz.
She also said she was hit on the hand with a stick during filming.
ארוע אלימות אתמול ה ה ה ה ה ה ה ה ה בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת בבקעת f. عد که للا عتسوریم. pic.twitter.com/W4s2aKZ5Ly
— Or Heller אור הלר (@OrHeller) January 14, 2023
The incident followed a sharp increase in settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank in 2022, with around 840 such incidents last year compared to 446 the year before and 353 in 2020.
The attacks included stone pelting against Palestinians and incidents of vandalism commonly referred to as “prize” attacks. The authors call it retaliation for Palestinian violence or Israeli government policies seen as hostile to the settler movement.
The IDF has said that settler attacks in 2022 no longer came primarily from illegal settlements or outposts considered extremist, such as the Yitzhar area near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, but also from supposedly moderate areas.
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