News24

Israeli settlers shoot Palestinian

2012-05-26 19:00

Nablus - A Palestinian was shot and wounded on Saturday in clashes with Jewish settlers from the hardline Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank, witnesses and an AFP journalist said.

Dozens of settlers, some of them armed, set alight to a field of grain and to olive trees in Orif village near the settlement, the sources said. Some fired at Palestinian villagers, one of whom was gravely wounded and taken to hospital.

Israeli soldiers then arrived and made the settlers go back to Yitzhar.

The area has seen regular clashes between Palestinian residents and people from Yitzhar, considered to be a bastion of extremist Jewish settlers.

On Monday, the Israeli military said it had begun an inquiry into an incident that was exposed by two video clips in which troops appeared to stand by without intervening as settlers shot at Palestinians.

Last Saturday's incident took place during stone-throwing clashes between settlers from Yitzhar and Palestinian villagers from Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus.

The footage, which shows a Palestinian being shot by two settlers in the presence of at least three soldiers, was captured by a volunteer for the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

The apparent indifference of the soldiers was widely covered by the Israeli press and was condemned by the Palestinian government in Ramallah.

In response, the army said troops had arrived at the scene to break up a violent confrontation in which both sides were throwing stones at each other.

In one video clip, two settlers with M-16 assault rifles can be seen opening fire at a stone thrower in a green shirt who collapses after being hit in the head.

In the second clip recorded from a different angle, a third settler can be seen firing with a pistol towards the stone throwers as three soldiers stand close by doing nothing.