Soldiers stood idly by as masked settlers threw stones at Palestinians on the outskirts of the West Bank village of Oreef, charged the non-governmental group B’Tselem, which provided extensive video evidence on Wednesday of an event that occurred there two days earlier.
“The soldiers did nothing to stop them or distance them,” B’Tselem said in a statement to the press.
In the video B’Tselem provided four settler youth with cloth covering their face and some wearing religious fringed garments, known as tzizit, can be seen throwing stones at Palestinians, standing at some point, inches away from soldiers.
In the distance, on the video one can hear, the IDF shooting tear gas canisters. Another settler is standing speaking into what looks like a walki-talki.
At no point in the seven minute video do settlers appear concerned by the IDF presence.
The incident, which lasted for 50 minutes, occurred on Monday at a construction site run by USAID for water reservoir located near the Palestinian city of Nablus and the Yitzhar settlement, according to B’Tselem.
“Settlers broke the electric meter and threw stones at the home of the Safadie family, next to construction site,” B’Tselem said.
It explained that there was a school a few meters away from the incident. Pupils in that school responded to the settler attack by throwing stones, B’Tselem said. The IDF shoot tear gas and teachers rounded up the pupils and brought them inside.
According to B’Tselem a number of settler vehicles, including one that belongs to a settlement security team, were parked next to IDF jeeps. The B’Tselem video included a shot of the vehicles.
B’Tselem has charged that the IDF failed in its obligation to protect the Palestinians and it called on the army to immediately open an investigation into the matter.
The IDF had yet to respond to the report.