US condemns West Bank settler attack on Palestinian villagers

US condemns West Bank settler attack on Palestinian villagers
US condemns West Bank settler attack on Palestinian villagers

Jerusalem (CNN)– The Israeli police arrested five people, including two minors, after an attack by Jewish settlers on a Palestinian village in the West Bank.

The attack, the latest in what human rights groups have described as an ongoing pattern of aggressive actions by settlers in the Masafer Yatta area southeast of Hebron, drew condemnation from the United States and the European Union, as well as Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid.

Muhammad Hussein Hamamda, from the village of Mafraq, told CNN that the incident began when dozens of settlers from the nearby Avigil outpost descended on the village on Tuesday afternoon, throwing stones and attacking villagers, livestock and property.

Hamamda’s four-year-old grandson was hit by a stone in the attack and was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment for head injuries.

A video distributed by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem – which used the word massacre to describe the events – showed masked men spread out in a small farming community attacking cars and buildings.

It also showed the apparent failure of Israeli soldiers to intervene, in one case throwing objects at a person filming the incident.

CNN reached out to the IDF for comment.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned the settlers’ actions, describing them as terrorism.

“This is not the Israeli way, it is not the Jewish way,” Lapid said. “This is a violent and dangerous party, and we have a responsibility to bring them to justice.”

Lapid’s statement paved the way for the US State Department to follow suit with condemnation on its part.

“The United States government strongly condemns the settler violence that occurred against Palestinians in villages near Hebron in the West Bank on September 28. We appreciate the strong and unequivocal condemnation of this violence by the Secretary of State and other officials,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

The European Union confirmed his conviction, saying the perpetrators needed to be brought to justice.

According to the Israeli human rights organization Breaking the Silence, while incidents like the one on Tuesday represent one of the worst settler violence in the area in years, other types of intimidation against local Palestinians, such as stealing goats and sheep, polluting water tanks and attacking children, On their way to school, it’s almost a daily thing.”

He remained defiant, Mohamed Hamamda told CNN.

He added, “They simply want us all out of our lands, but they will only see this in their dreams. They think that if they break our property and our homes and if they hit us they will break our resistance and our dignity. But we are here, and we will stay here until the last drop of blood.”

 
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