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Settlers attack Palestinians in Hebron following Friday prayers

9 October 2009

Palestinian sources reported that about 40 settlers armed with M16 rifles made an unprovoked attack on a crowd outside the mosque in Shalalah Street following Friday prayers. Many people, including women and children were in the street. Israeli soldiers were also present at the time of the attack but made no attempt to stop the violence. The settlers tried to catch Palestinians and beat them. One boy injured his wrist after falling while trying to climb out of the way. The attack was aborted because of the intervention of a group of about 15 Norwegian tourists, who happened to be in the area. The settlers withdrew as a consequence. In response to the attack a group of four boys, aged between 10 and 21, were later detained for stone throwing. Also detained were two boys who went to the Ibrahimi Mosque allegedly carrying knives.

While the settlers in Hebron can walk around freely with M16 rifles, Palestinians are not allowed to carry guns. They are regularly detained by the Israeli army and imprisoned for throwing stones or carrying knives.