Last week I posted videos taken by the spokesperson of B’Tselem, Sarit Michaeli, showing a confrontation between settlers and Palestinians near the village of Urif, in the Nablus region. You can see in the videos settlers setting fire to a Palestinian olive grove, and hear gunshots. A third clip shows a wounded Palestinian being evacuated from the area (see the report and watch the videos here). At the time, Michaeli told me that local Palestinians also said that the wounded man was beaten – after he was shot – by the settlers. There was no footage backing this claim.
Tonight (Saturday) an army investigation confirmed the Palestinian account of the affair (something that doesn’t happen very often): According to the IDF, the Palestinian man was shot by the emergency squad of the settlement of Yitzhar, then tied up and beaten by a few teenagers. According to the Israeli media, the settlers claimed that the Palestinian man was armed, and that a knife was found on his person.
The emergency squad of every settlement is made up of local residents, armed with IDF guns. Their job is to help protect the settlement from attacks, but they have no legal authority and are not supposed to carry out arrests. Yitzhar’s settlers were involved in the shooting of another Palestinian, also caught on video, a week earlier. +972’s Haggai Matar posted that clip, which clearly shows that the settlers were in no danger when they shot the Palestinian man.
Following the two incidents, the army confiscated the weapons of several settlers. So far, no arrests have been made.