Palestinians Clash With Soldiers in Protest Over Settler Accused of Beating

Accuse Jew for Attacking Arab With Steel Pipes

West Bank Unrest: Palestinian youths battle soldiers after a Jewish settler was accused of beating an Arab with steel pipes.
getty images
West Bank Unrest: Palestinian youths battle soldiers after a Jewish settler was accused of beating an Arab with steel pipes.

By Reuters

Published April 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Scores of Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli soldiers for a second day in the occupied West Bank on Friday, after locals accused Jewish settlers of beating a man with steel pipes.

Youths heaved rocks at Israeli army jeeps as smoke from blazing tyres mixed with tear gas a few hundred metres from the red-rooftopped villas of the Israeli settlement of Ofra.

An Israeli army spokesperson described the alleged beating that led to the disturbances as a “clash between Israeli and Palestinian civilians” and said it was investigating.

Israelis from an outpost of cabins between the Ofra settlement and the Palestinian village of Silwad beat 60-year-old former judge Ahmad al-Zir as he was tending his land on Thursday, locals said.

“They were hitting him again and again on the head, cursing him and telling him to shut up,” said Mahmoud Hussein, a relative and an eyewitness of the alleged attack.

Village youths pursued the Israelis to the encampment and burned down one of their improvised homes.

Israeli soldiers were dispatched to the scene late Thursday, firing at the Palestinians and hitting two protesters with live bullets, including one in the chest, medics said.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since 2010 due in large part to disputes over settlement construction. U.S. President Barack Obama visited Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month in an attempt to get negotiations going again, followed by Secretary of State John Kerry this week, although neither man presented any new initiative.

UPSURGE IN VIOLENCE

Obama’s visit was followed by some of the worst violence in the West Bank in years, triggered by the death from cancer of a prisoner serving a life term in an Israeli jail.

Half a million Israeli settlers live on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, with the settlers gone.

Israeli and Palestinian rights groups report regular aggression by Israeli settlers on Palestinians, ranging from burning olive groves to torching cars and painting racist graffiti on Palestinian homes and mosques.

Palestinian youths frequently hurl stones at settlers’ cars and Israeli soldiers deployed throughout the occupied West Bank.

For Friday prayers in Silwad, hundreds of village men streamed past Israeli troops who tried to block their path and gathered in al-Zir’s apricot grove in protest.

“Our land, its stones and its soil, is our right. Sleeping on it by night and tending to it by day, without fear of attacks by hateful settlers, is a matter of our very existence,” the local imam told worshippers by megaphone at the open-air sermon.

An Israeli surveillance drone flew silently overhead, alighting among Israeli troops watching from a nearby hilltop.

The United Nations deem all Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be illegal. Settlers dispute this, citing Biblical and historical ties to the land.

While there are some 120 official settlements, such as Ofra, there are also more than 100 outposts built without official authorisation that dot the West Bank – including the cluster of makeshift structures near Silwad.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.