Settlers Deny Palestinian Claim Hebron Boy, 6, Beaten With Rock

Boy's family accuses Jewish children of assault on Worshipers Way; restricted bail rejected for far-rightist.

Palestinians claimed on Saturday that a six-year-old Palestinian boy was hospitalized with moderate wounds after being beaten on the head with a rock by Jewish children in Hebron, a claim denied by Jewish settlers.

According to the boy and his family, four children from the Jewish settlements in the city and overlooking Kiryat Arba assaulted the child near the Worshipers Way, the road that leads from Kiryat Arba to the Cave of the Patriarchs. Israel Defense Forces soldiers treated the child for his wounds and later delivered him to Palestinian officials.

Noam Arnon, a spokesman for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, warned against placing blame on the entire community and called for police to carry out an investigation into the incident to determine who the perpetrators were.

"We are fed up with collective blame," Arnon said. "We urge police to investigate the incident and try those that are behind it. I don't believe Jews had anything to do with it." Police said they were investigating the incident but, so far, had not received an official complaint.

Meanwhile on Saturday, citing a lack of evidence, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court rejected for the second time the State Prosecution's request to restrict the terms of right-wing extremist Noam Federman's bail.

Federman was indicted for allegedly assaulting police officers in October during the evacuation of his house in Kiryat Arba and was released from custody because prosecutors could not find a judge to extend his remand on time. Since then, state attorneys have sought to bar Federman from entering the West Bank, claiming he is violating the law by inhabiting an illegal outpost.

However, Judge Shulamit Dotan told the prosecution that if Federman is currently violating the law by living in an illegal outpost, then he should be arrested for that offense.

Also on Saturday, seven members of the Knesset, including three from coalition parties, visited the controversial "Peace House" in Hebron, whose ownership is disputed between settlers and Palestinians.

The MKs from the Likud, Kadima, United Torah Judaism, Shas and National Union-National Religious Party showed support for the settlers and spoke out against their removal.

The house, which has come to be known as either the "Peace House," "Beit Hameriva" ("The House of Contention") or "The Brown House," is located near the Worshipers Way, a strategic locale from the settlers' perspective. The acquisition of additional houses nearby would help settlers strengthen their position in the area.