Settlers attack West Bank village with Israeli army support

Israeli police prevent settlers from blocking the main road near Palestinian village of Hawara during attacks on the West Bank, as smoke billows from crops they set fire to on 30 April 2013. (Photo: AFP - Menahem Kahana)

Published Sunday, May 5, 2013

Updated at 3:15pm: Jewish settlers raided a West Bank village near Ramallah on Saturday night, attacking several houses and prompting clashes between residents and Israeli forces, Ma’an news agency reported.

Israeli forces were standing guard as hundred of settlers stormed the village of Ras Karkar, reportedly barring ambulances from entering the village before allowing an ambulance to take only two people to the hospital.

Eight residents of Ras Karkar were wounded as Israeli troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets at them. Live bullets were also fired into the air to scare the residents and prevent them from defending their property.

Rubber-coated bullets hit one Palestinian in the eye, one in the head and another in the chest. Four others sustained bruises and fractures from the attack by settlers and Israeli troops, locals said.

According to local sources, three houses in Ras Karkar were attacked and set on fire, as well as a number of olive trees.

One settler was wounded after being hit by a stone.

A video said to have been recorded on Saturday night at Ras Karkar shows Israeli soldiers casually spraying a Palestinian in the face at close range with an irritating agent, and violently arresting another:

Settlers were also gearing up to attack another village near Ramallah on Sunday, Ma’an reported.

According to a witness, dozens of settlers were being escorted by Israeli troops and police officers near the village of al-Janiya in northwest Ramallah.

Residents of al-Janiya were trying to close the road to the village with rocks, only to be met with stun grenades and tear gas. Activists used the village mosque’s loudspeakers to urge residents to defend their village.

Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli forces regularly turn a blind eye or even assist settler crimes.

According to figures compiled by Israeli group Yesh Din, nine out of 10 police investigations about settler crimes fail to lead to a prosecution.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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