A video has been released showing a group of masked Israeli settlers attacking a Palestinian home in the West Bank village of Kufr Yasuf, prompting Israel Police and Israeli army to launch an investigation.
The video – which was released by Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din – shows a group of 15 illegal Israeli settlers approaching a Palestinian home in Kufr Yasuf, off Route 60 in the occupied West Bank. All are wearing balaclavas and hooded jackets, disguising their faces from the CCTV camera which captured the event yesterday.
According to an investigation by Yesh Din: “the settlers entered the village from the direction of Tapuah outpost [Za’tara]. They threw rocks and cement blocks at the family’s home while they were inside, breaking its windows, as well as the family car’s windshield, which they tried to set on fire.”
The settlers also attacked other Palestinian property in Kufr Yasuf, including puncturing car tyres and throwing stones at other targets, the Times of Israel reported.
The Israeli daily added that, though attacks by illegal Israeli settlers against Palestinian property often take place at night, by contrast “the latest incident unfolded in broad daylight Wednesday morning”. The Israel Police are reportedly searching for the culprits.
Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian property are commonplace, particularly by extreme right-wing settlers living close to Route 60. In the past six months alone, this area has seen settlers block roads and attack Palestinian vehicles, murder Palestinian mother-of-eight Aisha Al-Rabi and shoot 23-year-old Mohammed Abd Al-Fatah.
Last month, an illegal settler was caught on video carrying out an arson attack against Palestinian fields, contradicting a statement by the Israeli army which blamed Palestinians for starting the fire.
Shortly after the incident, the Israeli army issued a statement saying it had extinguished “a fire set by Palestinians” near the villages of Burin, Urif and Asira Al-Qibliya, all located some five miles north of Kufr Yasuf. However, a video released by Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem the following week revealed that, in fact, the fire had been started by illegal Israeli settlers.
Though the army subsequently altered its statement to say that “several fires were set and quickly spread”, it did not admit to having covered up the settlers’ culpability for the attack. For its part, B’Tselem stressed that the Israeli army had granted “almost total immunity” to the settlers, noting that none were interrogated or arrested following the incident.
Just days later, it emerged that one of the settlers seen in the video was a serving soldier in the Israeli army. Israeli media reported that “the army knows the identity of the settler”, while “two security sources confirmed the details, saying that the soldier was on leave when the arson took place”.
The soldier – who has not been named but is known to live on the Har Bracha settlement near Burin – was eventually arrested earlier this week and suspended from the army pending further investigation.