Settlers Caught on Film Throwing Stones at Left-wing Activists in West Bank

Two activists hurt by the stones, and the group left the area due to the incident

Six settlers caught on film throwing stones at left-wing activists in West Bank, February 10, 2018
Screenshot from video

Some six settlers were caught on film Saturday throwing stones at left-wing activists in the southern West Bank. Two activists were hurt and were treated on the scene.

Videos taken by the activists show the settlers, some masked, throwing stones at them from a few meters away. At least four people are seen in the video thowing stones, with four of them hurling them more than 20 times.

The activists left the place, near the outpost of Havat Maon in the southern Hebron Hills, due to the stone-throwing.

About 10 Israelis, members of the left-wing anti-occupation group Ta’ayush, along with international activists, were touring the area when they were assaulted.

“The area there is very violent," Guy Batavia, who took part in the tour, said. "In recent months there have been a number of assaults on activists and on [Palestinian] farmers and shepherds. Yesterday there were two more assaults. We had gone to one of the villages where [settlers] had gone in during the week and made a mess – and a few teens came out toward us, three of them masked, and threw really big stones at us. It was really dangerous.”

The activists did not file a police complaint, saying the police “don’t really want to do anything.” Thus, no arrests are known to have been made following the incident, in which the teens whose faces were exposed could clearly be seen in the high quality film.

On Friday, Israeli citizens were filmed throwing stones at houses in the Palestinian town of Burin in the Nablus area in the northern central West Bank. In the footage, which was taken by members of the Yesh Din human rights organization, a group of about 20 Israelis are seen approaching the houses and throwing rocks from a few meters away. No damage or injuries were reported. In one video, it appears that one of the perpetrators is carrying a pistol and in another, one is shown carrying a rifle. No reports of gunfire were filed, but only stone-throwing. Israeli soldiers were shown entering the town near the man carrying the weapon.

Last year a Haaretz investigative report revealed that although the police were aware of at least nine instances of assault by settlers against Palestinians, left-wing activists and soldiers over a period of two and a half months, all of which were filmed or witnessed by soldiers, no one was indicted, even though the unmasked faces could clearly be seen. In other cases, soldiers were very close to the stone-throwers, but did nothing to stop them.