Palestinian video footage published Sunday showed settlers shooting at stone
throwing Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by.
The footage showed
moments from a two-hour incident that began around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, in which
clashes occurred between settlers from Yitzhar and Palestinians from the village
of Asira al-Qibliya in an area between the two West Bank communities.
non-governmental group B’Tselem sent some of the footage to the media, which
included three separate links to YouTube videos shot by village volunteers for
its organization. The video has yet to be made publicly available on
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin said that the settlers were
security personnel for the Yitzhar settlement whose lives were endangered by the
During the event, Fathi Asayira, 24, of Asira al-Qibliya
was shot in the face, according to Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem.
taken to a hospital in Nablus where he is recovering from his wounds, she
The first and second videos depict a standoff between Palestinians
and settlers in a field of overgrown semi-dried grass. Palestinians some of whom
are holding sticks throw stones at four settler men, who wear white
Two carry riffles strung around their necks and one has a
A fire burns behind the men and black smoke billows into the
air. A man who appears to be a settler can be seen trying to beat the fire out
with a shovel. Three soldiers stand next to the settlers with guns.
settlers can be shown shooting at the Palestinians who seem to be only a short
distance away. The settler with a shot gun, crouched one knee, aimed and
One Palestinian appears to be wounded by the gunfire and is
carried away by other nearby Palestinians.
The IDF acknowledged that a
shooting incident had occurred and said it was investigating the matter. It
added that the videos did not present the entire narrative of what occurred, but
it did not elaborate. It said that security forces had responded to the incident
and had taken steps to separate both sides and bring an end to the
According to B’Tselem, settlers lit fire to the grassy field
near the village, came within a short distance of the homes and threw rocks. It
noted that one of the settlers brandished a Tavor rifle used by the infantry and
speculated that one of the men was a soldier on leave.
In addition, it
noted that one of the settlers wore a blue cap, similar to those worn by police.
B’Tselem added that Palestinians had thrown stones in response.
IDF and Border Police arrived, B’Tselem said, the officers did not force the
settlers to leave the area and did little to stop the situation.
lodged a complaint with the police and asked that it arrest the settlers. It
further asked the IDF to investigate the incident and charged that the officers
had not acted to protect the Palestinians.
Avraham, in turn, said the
incident started after Palestinians lit fire to fields near the settlements. He
added that this is the third week in a row that such fires have been
When firefighters and security personnel from the settlement
descended to try and put out the flames, they were attacked by an “inflamed mob”
of Palestinians who stoned them.
The security personnel, whose lives were
endangered, shot to protect themselves, he said.
Late Saturday night,
Binyamin set out a video from the incident, also shot by a Palestinian and
posted on line, which showed soldiers standing among Palestinians who threw
stones at the settlers.
He added that there is a long history of
Palestinian violence against the settlement, and that in the past Palestinians
had set fire to a home on the outskirts of the settlement and stabbed a
nine-year old boy.