24 April 2009
At around 5pm on Friday, the 24th of April, nearly 30 masked settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yizhar rampaged through the Palestinian village of Urif, southwest of the city of Nablus. The armed settlers first gathered at the boys’ high school in the village and proceeded to break doors and windows with metal sticks and farm tools. They then moved towards the center of the village and began to beat Palestinian residents. The settlers also shot at the water tanks on top of the roofs of residences, damaging several. Villagers soon gathered in the streets in an attempt to defend themselves. The settlers opened fire on the villagers with live ammunition.
At this time, the Israeli military arrived and also began shooting at residents with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition. Israeli forces also prevented ambulances from entering Urif to treat the wounded, and villagers were forced to evacuate the wounded in private cars. Most of the wounded were taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. At least 12 Palestinians were injured from weaponry used by settlers and the military. Among the injured include:
Maher Ghassan Safadi, shot in the shoulder with a live bullet
Noor Mustafa Safadi, shot in his leg with a live bullet
Ibrahim Rahdi Sabah, shot in his head with a rubber bullet
Issam Majah Safadi, shot in his hip with a live bullet
Mahmoud Abdel Rahim Safadi, shot in his foot with a live bullet
The father of one of the injured describes the routine violent behavior from Yizhar settlers:
I’m afraid from the continued settler attacks. The settlers from Yizhar are racist and very violent. The settlers also continue to uproot our olive trees and the army does nothing to stop them. The world must act to secure our lands from this violent harassment.
Attacks from settlers from Yizhar on surrounding Palestinian villages is increasing. On the 27th of April, 17-year-old Mohammad Farraj from Madama village was shot in the shoulder by a settler from Yizhar as he was working his lands.