A group of Palestinian cyclists were attacked Saturday by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank after a trail app landed them on a remote path dotted with Jewish settlements, Reuters reported.
Avid cyclist Amer Kurdi and four others set out on what was supposed to be an 80-km ride, using the hiking app Komoot to chart a path north from the Palestinian village of Birzeit.
Over an hour into their ride, Kurdi said Komoot led them east towards a rocky path near the Israeli settlement of Shilo, where a group of Israeli settlers approached them and asked where they were from. Kurdi, 30, replied that they were from the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
Soon after, the men started throwing stones at them, using T-shirts to hide their faces, Kurdi and his brother, Samer, said.
“The others managed to run away, but I tripped and fell,” Samer, 28, said.
“When I got up, a settler was behind me, and he started beating me with a metal rod.”
Photos the cyclists took after the incident, which they reported to Israel’s police, show Samer’s legs and arms bruised and bloodied.
The occupied West Bank is dotted with illegal Jewish-only settlements which Palestinans are not allowed to approach.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said they are investigating.
Palestinians complain that navigation apps fail to grasp the West Bank’s complexity.
Asked for comment, Komoot said it regretted the incident but that its service is not specifically optimised for route planning “through areas of political unrest”.