Two Jewish Teenagers From West Bank Charged With Rioting in Palestinian Village

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The father of the injured child in Khirbet al-Mufkara last month.
The father of the injured child in Khirbet al-Mufkara last month.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Two teenagers from the West Bank were indicted Thursday for allegedly taking part in violent disturbances in the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Mufkara last month in which a 3-year-old boy was injured.

One of the suspects, 15, is charged with attempted assault and rioting that damaged property. Both teenagers are from the South Hebron Hills.

The other, 17, is charged with the aggravated assault of a public servant after the youth allegedly attacked an army officer who tried to remove the teenagers from the scene. A dozen Palestinians were injured in the incident, including the 3-year-old.

According to the indictment filed at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, dozens of masked settlers entered the village armed with knives and sticks. They threw stones at residents, released sheep from their pens, broke car windows and vandalized pipes and a water tank. At one stage the settlers, including one of the accused, shoved the army officer and injured him.

Local residents said the incident began after a Palestinian shepherd told others that the settlers had stabbed his sheep. A number of Palestinians arrived in response and drove the settlers off. The residents said that around 100 masked settlers arrived in the village about half an hour later.

“This is the most I’ve seen compared to past attacks,” said Basel al-Adra, an activist from the nearby village of al-Tuwani. “They came to almost every house and car in the village.”

Investigators suspect that the 3-year-old, Mohammed Hamamda, was injured from stones thrown at his home while he was in an ambulance.

Three masked men threw stones while the child lay on a stretcher outside the ambulance next to his uncle, who was also injured by thrown stones, a relative told Haaretz.

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