IDF: Settlers attack Palestinian village of Jalud

20 settlers throw stones at Palestinians, damage vehicles, beat up Palestinian in his home at village near Esh Kodesh outpost.

January 2, 2013 23:38
3 minute read.
Border police arrest settlers in West Bank [file]

Esh Kodesh clashes 370. (photo credit: Tazpit News Agency)


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Clashes between settlers and Palestinians continued for a second day as some 20 settlers on Wednesday night entered the Palestinian village of Jalud near the Esh Kodesh outpost, according to the IDF.

The settlers threw stones at Palestinians, damaged two vehicles, entered a home in the village and beat a Palestinian, who was lightly injured and taken to the hospital by the Red Crescent, the IDF said.

The IDF views incidents such as this very seriously, a spokesman said. They inflame the area and divert the security forces from their primary mission of protecting Israeli citizens, the spokesman said.

The IDF was still investigating the incident, which stemmed from a land dispute between the Esh Kodesh outpost and nearby villages, including Jalud, which is 30 km. south of Nablus.

The dispute has generated a number of violent incidents in the past few days, as a military order allowed Palestinians to plow a parcel of land that Esh Kodesh residents say is theirs.

Aron Katsof of Esh Kodesh said that settlers from his community had not attacked anyone in Jalud and scoffed at the idea that they were wandering around at night looking to harm Palestinians.

He said some 50 Arabs had headed from Jalud in the direction of the nearby Achia outpost on Wednesday night.

As of press time, the IDF could not confirm this incident.

Esh Kodesh residents are engaged in a prolonged struggle with Palestinians for ownership of the farmland around the outpost.

A military order, from two months ago, however, recognizes Palestinian ownership over some of the land in question and allows for villagers to plow it, including the field that Esh Kodesh residents believe is theirs.

On Wednesday morning, soldiers and Border Police officers protected Palestinians as they worked the field with tractors.

At one point, a number of settler women walked among the tractors and tried to stop the Palestinian men from working the field.

Rabbis for Human Rights caught some of the incident on camera. The short video, which was posted on YouTube, shows a Jewish woman, wearing a long brown skirt and a kerchief over her hair, walking up to one of the tractors.

She holds out her hand, asking the driver to stop, which he does. Then she sits on the tractor’s small metal ledge, until Border Police officers pull her away.

A number of other women, some with children, can be seen in the video, similarly wandering around the field, seeking to stop the tractors. In the distance, a number of fires are burning.

On Tuesday, Esh Kodesh residents, including women and children, also went to the field to stop the tractors, but Border Police officers and soldiers dispersed them. The settlers have distributed a video from the incident. It shows soldiers pinning an unarmed man and at some points using their batons against settlers who appear to simply be standing there. Settlers and Rabbis for Human Rights say that the Border Police also fired tear gas and stun grenades at the women and children. Clashes also broke out between security forces and Palestinians, who gathered by the field, and in some cases threw stones. Two Border Police officers were lightly wounded during Tuesday’s clashes.

Security sources said that in the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday, settlers entered the nearby Palestinian village of Kusra, broke windows and vandalized some 100 olive trees.

Katsof denied that the attackers were from Esh Kodesh.

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