Extreme right-wing settlers attacked a group of Palestinians with rocks and tear gas and set two Palestinian cars on fire this morning in the occupied Jordan Valley, according to Wafa news agency.
The terror group known as “hilltop youth” from the notorious illegal settlement of Yitzhar, who were quarantined in an army post in the Jordan Valley after they were suspected to contracting the deadly coronavirus disease, escaped from their post and attacked two Palestinian men and a Palestinian woman.
According to the Jerusalem Post, an initial investigation found that three of the quarantined settlers saw two Palestinians and one Arab-Israeli woman having a picnic in the area and, after an interaction between the six, returned to the tent and brought ten of their friends to attack the Palestinians.
The settlers also beat the woman, hitting her in the face and abdomen. Her injuries caused her to lose consciousness and she was evacuated to Soroka Medical Centre in Be’er Sheva for treatment, reported Israel Hayoum.
In response to the attack, Joint List MK Ofer Cassif took to Twitter to criticise Israel’s authorities for rarely prosecuting settler violence against Palestinians and their property.
He wrote: “Jewish terrorists are repeatedly accepted with love and understanding by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and police, like the case tonight when we saw the racist violence that miraculously did not take human lives. Instead of establishing ‘Ma’ale coronavirus’ these hilltop youth should have been placed behind bars.”
טרוריסטים יהודים מתקבלים שוב ושוב באהבה והבנה בידי משטרת ארדן ונתניהו, וכך גם הלילה ראינו אלימות גזענית שרק בנס לא גבתה חיי אדם. במקום להקים להם "מעלה קורונה" היה נכון לשלוח את נערי הגבעות לבידוד מאחורי סורג ובריח. pic.twitter.com/j4EbrB5Cgo
— Ofer Cassif עופר כסיף (@ofercass) April 13, 2020
The attack was condemned by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates who said it was not the first attack by Jewish settlers against Palestinian civilians and their property in the occupied territories, but an extension of dozens of similar attacks.
It added there has been a rise in such attacks since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to undermine Palestinian efforts to fight the outbreak.