Israeli media have claimed that Jewish settlers were taught “how to hate and attack Palestinians” in a summer camp which concluded this week. The camp was held in the hills around Hebron in the occupied West Bank, reported Israel’s Ynet News website.
This is the second year running that Lehava Anti-Assimilation Organisation has organised the camp for members of the Hilltop Youth. Most of Israel’s illegal settlements are built on hills so that they dominate the surrounding area. Young settlers aged 14 to 22 who attended the camp were taught colloquial Arabic, basic field skills, how to conduct surveillance and how to withstand Shin Bet and police interrogations. They also received instruction in Krav Maga, the self-defence system developed for the Israel Defence Forces.
According to Days of Palestine, which was quoting Ynet News, the Jewish youngsters are being incited to act against the Palestinians, whether they are Muslims, Christians or any other faith. Jewish extremists, including the head of Lehava, Bentzi Gopstein, Itamar Ben-Gvir — well-known for his provocative acts against Palestinians — and Noam Federman, an extreme right-winger, were among the tutors at the camp.
Having taught the settler youth how to attack Palestinians they then set out to explain how to deny their activities when in custody, even how to get compensated when they are arrested.
Federman is alleged to have warned his students of the dangers involved if they acknowledge carrying out attacks against the Palestinians. He gave as an example the details of the settler who carried out a murderous arson attack in Duma last year, which killed a Palestinian family.
“During the investigation into the Duma arson,” he apparently told the participants in the camp, “there was a guy we knew was going to be arrested. He told me that he was not going to tell the Shin Bet interrogator a thing. Two days later he was arrested and then, after a few days of interrogation, he spilled the beans on everything.”