One of the two Jewish settlers recently caught on video starting a fire in the occupied West Bank is an Israeli soldier, it has been revealed.
According to reports in the Israeli media, “the army knows the identity of the settler”, and “two security sources confirmed the details, saying that the soldier was on leave when the arson took place”.
The military said that “the Israel Police are expected to handle the incident”, while “the police said that they have yet to arrest the soldier”.
The incident took place on Friday, 17 May, when settlers attacked Palestinians and their properties in three West Bank villages.
While the Israeli military initially blamed Palestinians for starting the fires, the army was forced to change its story after a video clip published by human rights NGO B’Tselem clearly showed settlers lighting fires in fields.
In a separate video taken by local Palestinians that day, settlers are seen throwing rocks at villagers’ homes, while Israeli soldiers “can be seen standing among the settlers and doing nothing to stop them”.
To date, no one has been arrested for any of these attacks.
Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank routinely assault Palestinians and vandalise their property, attacks which are almost never investigated or prosecuted by Israeli occupation authorities.
All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law.