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WATCH: Settlers set fire to Palestinian olive grove, man shot

Eyewitness report that a Palestinian who tried to put out a fire started by settlers in Urif was shot and injured. 

Throughout the day, there were reports of settlers from Yitzhar trying to set fire to Palestinian olive groves near the village of Urif, south of Nablus in the West Bank. The entire area is know for its frequent confrontations between settlers and local farmers. A team from B’Tselem who arrived at the spot caught one of the attacks on camera; Sarit Michaeli, spokesperson for B’Tselem who filmed the video, told me she had a very clear view of the settlers torching the field.

According to Palestinian and Israeli sources, the settlers also opened fire on several Palestinians who tried to protect their field. At least one person was injured, and the Palestinian and Israeli media is reporting that his condition is grave. You can hear (but not see) the shots at the beginning of this video, before the camerawoman runs away. According to Michaeli, she later saw an entire group of armed settlers on the hill.

Here is the evacuation of the wounded man. According to Palestinian sources, he was beaten before local villagers arrived and were able to evacuate him (there is no confirmation or video of this). Soldiers who stood at the bottom of the hill didn’t help the evacuation, nor did they stop the settlers who torched the olive groves. According to B’Tselem, fires were being started even after the man was shot.

In the past, the Israeli media has linked settlers from Yitzhar to numerous “Price Tag” activities, in which settlers who weren’t satisfied with government or army activities took out their revenge on local Palestinian residents. On Sunday, Haggai Matar posted videos here in which settlers are clearly seen shooting a young Palestinian, while the soldiers stand idly by. I recommend reading his report and watching the videos here.

Why IDF soldiers stand idly by when settlers attack Palestinians


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    1. aristeides

      For all the publicity these incidents have gotten, nothing seems to have changed. The settlers obviously don’t fear it.

      Reply to Comment
    2. At least this will explode the narrative about how the settlers wouldn’t light fires on Shabbat (though Arutz Sheva will probably find some way of turning it round).

      Reply to Comment
    3. aristeides

      Maybe they think everyone is watching the riots in Tel Aviv and won’t notice.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Rafael

      It’s revolting how Israeli settlers and soldiers initiate this sort of provocation, of terrorist aggression, at the same time that they play the role of the hurt ones, the quintessential victim of persecution, of holocausts and of Arab violence, when they’re under the spotlight of international attention.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jack

      What if jews had their shops/workplaces and shot ever month in lets say america. That would have gotten media publcity and an outrage and accusings of antisemitism. Or even if palestinians kept shooting israelis in Israel and destroyed their homes and workplaces. However when it comes to arabs, muslims they seems to have no right. The wester leaders are nowhere to be found on this. Its a racism an orientalist view.


      These are rabid religious fundamentalists, violent ones. They have zero respect whatsoever for international law.

      Reply to Comment
    6. aristeides

      Jack – they do, however, have to cultivate the good opinion of international Jews, to whom they make regular pilgrimages in search of donations. At some point, they’re going to go too far.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Jack

      These donors have obviously also little or no respect for international law. These attacks, actions against palestinians are “normal” and correct behaviour according to them.

      Reply to Comment
    8. FU

      Honest question: who articulates the settlers’ perspective or defends their actions like this? Seriously — what websites or spokespeople are there, who even try to defend them? (I’d love a URL or some names, just to look at.)


      Reply to Comment
    9. There ultimately will be another explosion, another rising, something. These memories spread, through family, friends, even strangers. These settlers are going to turn Israelis into monsters by placing the State in an overt position where mass force is decided necessary. Every call of “God is Great” after a wounded is retrieved, or a dead body, brings this time nearer. The settlers are going to force you to become as they, and the prevalent Israeli media filters contribute by isolating the public from these events.
      Now, am I a terrorist for saying this will happen? How long will this silence continue? I fear, almost now predict, until the social explosion begins.
      FU has a good inqiry, in my view. The thought of such people should be heard, so one can see what they want to do to Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    10. XYZ

      Since 972 defines itself as an “independent reporting” site, I think it is incumbent upon them to give us follow-up reports on these incidents. In the previous incident, the person firing at the Palestinians is clearly identifiable so we need to know what has happened to the investigation of these incidents. There are numerous neutral witnesses, including soldiers present who no doubt have been able to help the authorities with the investigation. Don’t forget that soldiers come from all sectors of society and are not necessarily “pro-settler” so they should be able to give an unbiased account of what happened.
      So often, we are told of supposedely “shocking events” carried out by settlers and yet no prosecuation ever takes place. As I have pointed out previously, this can NOT be due to the fact that all the organs involved, the IDF, the police and the state prosecutors office is “covering-up” for the settlers, since the heads of all these organization are not favorably disposed to the settlers in any event.

      Reply to Comment
    11. max

      RB, thanks for the link – why do you claim it’s a spin? Is it grainier than others? Is it doctored? Is it less conclusive?
      Are the implications less to your liking?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Because as I explained at enormous length a couple of weeks ago, it’s quite clear from the teachings of Yitzhak Ginzburg (the mad Lubavitcher of whom Yitzhak Shapira’s defines himself a student) that their entire strategy is to set the fires themselves and then say “would we do that on Shabbat?” And the A7 audience, religious though it presumably is, is quite ignorant of all this.

      Reply to Comment
    13. max

      I see: you have a theory and the facts will have to adjust themselves 🙂
      As you explained, this is the essence of conspiracy theories, and the 972mag audience, rational though it presumably is, is quite ignorant of all this.

      Reply to Comment
    14. XYZ,
      The soldiers are obiously not neutral. They are young, have a job to do, have to live with their comrades, have to take orders. There is profound pressure to see the right thing.
      972 is hated because it shows these events, possible in the digital age. If not for such as they, the very event would go unremaked. Would you then expect soldiers to come forward and speak, although there is no public reason for doing so? In fact, some have. Some are now reporters on this site. Others are part of NGOs you may well detest. The courts are important precisely because institutions cannot adequately police themselves under social stress; but the IDF, and the settlers, are at present seemingly immune from court oversight.
      In the American Jim Crow South, in South Africa, in the USSR, there were periods where certain kinds of events just didn’t occur. It is happening in your land now. Will some reports be wrong, even faked? Certainly. But not all. I suspect far from all.

      Reply to Comment
    15. ABU-ALI

      I would like to start a new settlement here in the West-Bank, where Israelis and Palestinians live together as a community,any body wants to join.

      Reply to Comment