Left-wing activist evacuated after confrontation with settlers, Aug 25, 2018.
(photo credit: NASSR NAWAJ'AH B'TSELEM)
Left-wing activists charged that they were physically attacked by settlers on Saturday while taking pictures of illegal construction in the Mitzpe Yair outpost in the South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank.
Four of the activists, who belonged to the NGO Taayush, were injured and evacuated from the scene by a Magen David Adom ambulance.
They were treated at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba and released.
The IDF, which helped evacuate the activists from the scene, blamed the activists for the attack.
“The activists approached the Israeli community and instigated a provocation at the scene. A confrontation then evolved between the group and the Israeli community’s residents,” an army spokesperson said.
He added that troops at the scene declared the area a “closed military zone” to prevent further confrontation but that the Taayush activists refused to leave and “violated the order.”
Taayush activists Pepe Goldman said the construction was outside the existing boundaries of the community. The group of six activists went to the construction site but did not enter the community itself, he said.
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While they were tacking pictures settlers came and physically assaulted them, pushing them to the ground, stealing their cameras and rummaging through their bags, he said.Mount Hebron Regional Council head Yochai Damri
interviewed to KAN, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, and said, "This was a provocation on top of a provocation. Coming on Shabbat and taking pictures, it was deliberate."
The activists did nothing to instigate violence, he said.
Goldman took issue with the army statement, which he said was a “lie” including the declaration of closed military zone. The activists are weighing whether to turn to the court over the IDF statement.
The IDF has “turned into an army of the settlers. That is what is happening in the West Bank,” he said.
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