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WATCH: Masked settler beats Palestinian with metal pipe

Human rights group suggests army could have prevented the attack. New data shows police rarely file indictments for violent crimes against Palestinians and their trees.

Masked settlers attacked Palestinian olive pickers and Israelis who joined them on Sunday near the village of Burin, I reported here. Now, a video of the incident has come to light, showing what appears to be a planned, vicious and quick attack.

The masked settlers, who reportedly came from the direction of the settlement of Yitzhar run toward the olive pickers, working at the height of the olive harvest. They throw stones at the Palestinians and Israelis who are with them.

Then, one of the attackers approaches with a metal pole and repeatedly strikes one of the olive harvesters.

The video was shot from a distance by Munir Kadus, a field worker for Yesh Din.

According to Rabbis for Human Rights, whose members were accompanying the Palestinian olive pickers on Sunday, almost 2,000 Palestinian-owned trees have been damaged in recent months in areas notorious for violence against Palestinians.

“What is surprising to us is that masked men succeeded in descending the not insignificant distance from Yitzhar to attack, when the IDF knew that the olive harvest was taking place there today, that the area is notorious for violence, and that farmers and our volunteers were attacked at the same place last week,” Rabbi Arik Ascherman, president of Rabbis for Human Rights said.

The likelihood of police arresting and indicting the culprits is very low, suggests data collected by Yesh Din about 211 incidents involving deliberate damage to fruit trees in the West Bank over the past eight years and about settler violence against Palestinians.

Of 211 incidents of damage to Palestinian-owned trees since 2005, only four cases resulted in the indictment of a suspect, according to a Yesh Din factsheet released Monday. The data shows that 183 of those cases were closed in circumstances that indicate police investigatory failures.

When it comes to violent attacks against Palestinians, the numbers are almost as bad. In the same years, out of 825 cases, police filed indictments only 8.5 percent of the time.

Police ignore Palestinian complaint about settler violence 

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    1. Reverse ethnicities and the IDF would act. There is absolutely no reason why this video should not start an investigation.

      If the masked men did come from the nearby settlement, clearly they had no fear of repercussions.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      The resort to violence should be the sole discretion of the government, and not it’s citizens.

      This violence is as much an attack on the government of Israel as it is an attack on the Palestinians.

      The culprits should be caught and prosecuted.

      Reply to Comment
      • Haifawi

        They won’t be.
        I’m heading to Burin this weekend though. We need a better strategy to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

        Reply to Comment
    3. CigarButNoNice

      I don’t condone this, but the Arabs shouldn’t be surprised when there is such a reaction to their continued colonization of another people’s land.

      (A moment before you all go ballistic: this is just a rewrite of the anti-Zionist party line when the situation is reversed, as in cases where Jewish children in the disputed territories are attacked. Know thyself.)

      Reply to Comment
      • Haifawi

        The Jews in the Occupied territories aren’t denied civil and political rights.
        You’re right, if the Jews were carrying identity cards issued by the Palestinian Authority and denied suffrage in PA elections and subjected to PA planning and building codes, then your statement could be construed as having meaning.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          “Civil” and “political” rights are inherently alien to any Arab society, meaning that there is not even one single reason to treat Arabs like Israelis, Russians, French or Americans.

          Reply to Comment
          • sh

            Or even your pet hamster.

            Reply to Comment
          • Haifawi

            This is the best you can do? I honestly expected better from you.

            Reply to Comment
      • A masked man uses a pipe to hit an unarmed man, then rushes backward to his masked friends, and you play relativization games. This happened under Israeli jurisdiction, perhaps under direct IDF watch. If you want to help your country, have this kind of thing stop. All it does is help convince resident Palestinians that only violence works. These probable settlers are aiding their enemy. Israel placed them there and protects them. Control them.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Vadim

      “Watch: Palestinians stone masked men”

      Reply to Comment
    5. Tomer

      Why do you call these Defeated Jordanians, “fakestinyan”??
      No such nationality ever existed. You should cause them as DJs – Defeated Jordanian OR South Syrians. They were happy to be called that in their original incarnation.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Piotr Berman

      Tomer: do you imply that it is OK to beat up people if you think that “their nationality does not exist”?

      On the other hand, the assumption made by the activists that the army could prevent the attack may be false. Today ynetnews and timesofisrael have the story on masked settler “teenagers” beating up a Palestinian truck driver who made the delivery to their settlement, and as two soldiers on duty tried to defend the driver, they were beaten up too (and sprayed with pepper spray).

      The reaction of the military was swift: the post in front of the settlement will be removed. There are lame, there are decrepit, and then there is IDF.

      Reply to Comment