Middle East

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian family in West Bank

JERUSALEM (AP) — A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family on Saturday near a settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli rights group said.

According to footage by B’Tselem, about 10 settlers, some of them masked and carrying batons, approached the Alayan family near the Mitzpe Yair settlement and threw rocks at them. Family members were heard screaming at the settlers, and subsequent pictures showed the father, Sa’id Alayan, carried on a stretcher with a bloodied, bandaged face.

Sa’id was moderately injured and his wife, who recorded the images, suffered from a light injury, the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, said. The family says it owns the land and they go there every Saturday, fearing the settlers will seize it to extend the outpost, which is built without the Israeli government’s authorization, in southern Hebron.

The Israeli police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Palestinians view all settlements as illegal, and a major obstacle to their goal of creating an independent state that includes the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The international community also largely views the settlements as illegal, and an impediment to peace.

Israel considers the West Bank to be the historical and biblical heartland of the Jewish people.

Many of the settler outposts have been established by religious nationalists who are hostile to the local Palestinian population. B’Tselem has reported a rise in settler violence against Palestinians in recent months, and says the Israeli military often turns a blind eye.

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