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Settlers torch Palestinian car in Tel Rumeida, Hebron

12 March 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

Soldiers speak to family of the owner of the torched car

At 8 PM tonight Palestinians living in the Tel Rumeida settlement, Hebron, discovered a flaming car parked just outside H2 that had been torched by settlers. They called the fire department, and ISM activists came to document the scene soon after the fire had been put out. No pictures were taken of the car while it was in flames, but witnesses say that earlier today they filmed seven or eight settlers walking up on the hill that appeared to be studying the area.

Hani Abu Haikal and other residents of Tel Rumeida who have previously witnessed the method in which settlers torch cars, say settlers probably dumped lighter fluid on the trunk of the of the car and set it aflame, then broke the windows so that the fire caused an explosion.

The owner of the car is currently in Saudi Arabia on business and his brother was unable to reach him by phone. Shortly after ISM activists arrived, soldiers came to investigate and asked that everyone except the–absent–owner of the car leave. Activists and Palestinians documenting the scene remained despite their insistance.

According to Hani, this is the 7th car to be torched in Tel Rumeida within the last five years. The attack is probably a response to the murder of a settler family in the illegal settlement Itamar in the northern West Bank. Settler groups have accused Palestinians of being responsible for the attack, but the killer has yet to be identified.