Israeli oldiers were documented standing by as a group of settlers threw stones at Palestinians in the Nablus area on Friday.
The incident was caught on camera by researchers with organizations Yesh Din and Rabbis for Human Rights. The Israel Defense Forces said the video misrepresented the incident, and that the soldiers "took action to end the friction." None of the stone-throwers were arrested.
According to Yesh Din, at around 12:30 P.M., a trash fire started by a farmer near the Palestinian town of Burin began to spread. As firefighters arrived, a group of masked Israelis came to the area and began throwing stones at Palestinians present.
תיעוד: ישראלים מיידים אבנים על פלסטינים בפני חיילים הבוקר בגבעת רונן. עכשיו דמיינו רגע מה היה קורה אם פלסטיני היה מיידה אבנים במרחק כזה מחייל (צילום: זכריה סדה) pic.twitter.com/upNGjqb1aH— Yotam Berger (@yotberg) November 17, 2017
The video shows at least three stones thrown at close range by the masked Israelis at the Palestinians. The soldiers can be seen standing directly in front of the incident without taking action against the stone throwers
The incident took place near the outpost of Givat Ronen and the settlement of Yitzhar. Israelis from the area claimed that Palestinians started the fire with the intention for it to spread to the nearby settlements. According to local Palestinians, the fire was started on Palestinian land for the purpose of burning agricultural waste.
In response to the incident, the IDF stated that "settlers and Palestinians arrived" following the fire's outbreak in the area. "The friction between the sides then began and the IDF acted to separate them and put out the fire."
As for the video, the IDF claims it was "documented at the beginning of the discord and does not represent the event." The soldiers, says the IDF, "did act to end the incident. After the settlers acted forcefully, the soldiers dispersed them using stun grenades and riot control measures."
According to the army, the fire began near Burin and spread toward Givat Ronen, but wasn't started at the outpost in the first place. This weakens the settlers' claim of deliberate arson.
Last Summer Haaretz published a report on police investigations of similar situations that lead to no arrests. Left wing activists documented at least nine incidents of Israeli settlers attacking Palestinians within two months, one in which police stood by as Israelis threw stones at Palestinians, that concluded without a single arrest.
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