Home / In the Media / Palestinians, U.S. citizen complain of Hebron settler violence

Palestinians, U.S. citizen complain of Hebron settler violence

By Amos Harel and Michal Greenberg, Haaretz Correspondents for Haaretz

Several Palestinians and an American volunteer in the West Bank on Sunday filed complaints with the police, accusing settlers of violence toward Palestinians in the Hebron area on Saturday, after three people were wounded in two separate incidents.

In one of the incidents, Palestinians said about 10 masked, Hebrew-speaking youths had raided a tent encampment near the settlement of Sussia, on the border of the Havat Yair outpost on
Saturday night. They allegedly attacked two Palestinian brothers with clubs and knives and then escaped. The brothers, Abdelrahman and Aziz Shanaran, were lightly to moderately wounded and were taken to Alia Hospital in Hebron for treatment.

Another Shanaran relative, who said he had witnessed the incident, filed a police complaint on Sunday.

Also Sunday, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel asked the state prosecution to intervene immediately in an effort to bring the assailants to justice.

Left-wing activists familiar with the area said they thought the assailants were settlers from Sussia, and said settlers had been attacking Palestinian villagers in the area for a long time, in an
attempt to steal their land.

Abdelrahman Shanaran told the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem that the assailants had hit him on the head with a sharp object while he was sleeping in his tent. He said they continued to beat him and removed him from the tent.

His brother, Aziz, heard the screams of his wife and children and rushed to his assistance. According to the testimony, some of the assailants then began beating Aziz.

Aziz Shanaran told B’Tselem that the assailants appeared to be young and that some had earlocks and rifles. He said that after the attack, they escaped in the direction of Sussia.

Hospital records show that Abdelrahman Shanaran was treated for three cuts on his head and a leg wound, and that his brother received orthopedic treatment.

In the second incident, which took place Saturday afternoon, an American volunteer assisting Palestinians in Hebron as part of the Tel Rumeida Project said he was attacked by a group of about 20 Israeli children and youths. He said they threw stones at him, kicked him and spat at him. He was taken to a Hebron hospital shortly after the incident and underwent additional tests at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv on Sunday. He was hit in the head and doctors are concerned he may have a concussion.

The volunteer said he ran from his assailants to a nearby Israel Defense Forces post, but charged that the soldiers on duty refused to assist him.

However, IDF sources said the soldiers reached the site of the attack without being summoned and then dispersed the settlers. Police said they showed him mug shots but that the volunteer was unable to identify the people he said had attacked him.

Police said they would continue their inquiry into the attack on the American volunteer, but admitted that they had encountered difficulties.