Palestinians File Police Complaint Over Alleged Assault by Settlers

The Palestinians claimed that about 20 masked Israelis attacked them with sticks, iron bars and stones as they harvest their olives.

Screen grab from video of alleged attack by settlers on Palestinians in Al-Janiya in West Bank, near the settlement of Talmon.

Police took statements Sunday from two Palestinians who reported having been assaulted by Israeli settlers in the West Bank on Saturday.

Security officials said four people were injured in the incident, which took place near the settlement of Talmon. The four, who had apparently been beaten, were treated at a hospital in Ramallah.

The Palestinians said about 20 masked Israelis attacked them with sticks, iron bars and stones as they harvest their olives.

One of the Palestinians wounded in the alleged settler attack west of Ramallah, November 5, 2016.
Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem

No suspects have been arrested. But according to a source involved in the investigation, police suspect the assailants came from a tiny illegal outpost near the scene of the attack.

A video obtained by Haaretz shows four masked men in jeans and sweatshirts, climbing out of the wadi where the attack took place and entering the outpost’s buildings. The clip was filmed by a man from Al-Janiya (also spelled Al-Janieh), where the victims live, a few minutes after the attack. It doesn’t show the attack itself, but one of the masked men carries what appears to be a stick.

Police said they hadn’t yet come across the video in their investigation.

Haaretz visited the outpost, which consists of a few tin or wooden shacks, and found that it was empty during the day. But it contained a few signs with Hebrew writing and a bench that was apparently taken from a nearby settlement, since it was labeled as property of the Binyamin Regional Council. There were also several presumably inoperable vehicles.

The outpost is situated a few hundred meters from Talmon, in a wadi, or dry riverbed, that also contains Palestinian olive groves. The groves are on private property rather than on land controlled by the army, so the Palestinians can access them freely, without needing to coordinate with the army.