Assailants Tried to Attack Wounded Palestinian Child Near Ambulance, Israeli Police Say

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The father of the injured child in Khirbet al-Mufkara, last week.
The father of the injured child in Khirbet al-Mufkara, last week.Credit: Tomer Applebaum

An investigation into an attack by Jewish settlers on the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Mufkara has found that there was an attempt to attack a wounded 3-year-old while he was being evacuated by an ambulance that had come to take him to the hospital.

A relative of the 3-year-old, Mohammed Hamamda, told Haaretz that alongside that incident and while the child was on a stretcher outside the ambulance alongside his uncle, who was also injured by stones, three masked settlers hurled rocks at them.

The assault by dozens of masked settlers in the West Bank village of Khirbet al-Mufkara wounded six people, one of whom was the toddler who suffered a head injury when stones were thrown at his house. 

On Monday, the detention of two of the Israeli suspects that had remained in custody following the attack was extended. Both suspects are minors.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for youth initially released the two to house arrest, but the police appealed the release to the Jerusalem District Court, which overturned the lower court’s decision and extended their detention until Wednesday. The two are also suspected of assaulting a soldier.

On Friday, the courts released four other Israelis who had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack. The magistrate’s court judge, Havi Tucker, who ordered the suspects released, ruled that the request to keep them in custody was based solely on profiling, and District Court Judge Tamar Bezek Rappaport ruled that there was no reasonable suspicion that another two suspects were involved.

During the attack on the village in the South Hebron Hills, settlers broke car windows and vandalized water pipes and a water tank. Six Palestinians were wounded, including Hamamda, who was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva in moderate condition.

Villagers reacted to the attack by throwing stones back at the assailants, mildly wounding three of them. Soldiers who arrived on the scene fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at the Palestinians.

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