Settlers entered a West Bank village on Monday and attacked a Palestinian house while Israeli soldiers looked on, video filmed by human rights group B’Tselem shows. The army admits that the troops did not act as required.
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At the village of Orif near Nablus, the settlers hurled rocks at the house 100 meters from a school and near a reservoir being built by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the footage shows.
The soldiers did not stop the settlers, who came from the direction of the nearby settlement of Yitzhar, when the settlers threw rocks at the house of the Safdi family. Instead, the soldiers fired tear gas grenades at students who came out of the school to throw rocks back at the settlers.
“The video shows that the army, which is supposed to protect the Palestinians in the West Bank, actually served as backup for violent settlers,” B’Tselem said in a statement. “The army gave the settlers backup in attacking the Palestinians and their property.”
Human rights groups have repeatedly said Israel Defense Forces soldiers stand by and do not arrest settlers who throw stones at Palestinians or attack them.
“As soon as the event became known the military prosecution began examining how to deal with the matter,” the IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement. “A preliminary examination indicates that the troops did not act as required. The troops are instructed not to let masked people take action but to document their actions and pass the matter on to the police. The orders to the troops will be reissued.”