Palestinian video footage published Sunday showed settlers shooting
at stone throwing Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by.
The footage showed moments from a two-hour incident that began around
4:30 p.m. Saturday, in which clashes occurred between settlers from
Yitzhar and Palestinians from the village of Asira al-Qibliya in an
area between the two West Bank communities.
The non-governmental group B’Tselem sent some of the footage to the
media, which included three separate links to YouTube videos shot by
village volunteers for its organization. The video has yet to be made
publicly available on YouTube.
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin said that the settlers were
security personnel for the Yitzhar settlement whose lives were
endangered by the Palestinians.
During the event, Fathi Asayira, 24, of Asira al-Qibliya was shot in
the face, according to Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem.
He was taken to a hospital in Nablus where he is recovering from his
wounds, she added.
The first and second videos depict a standoff between Palestinians
and settlers in a field of overgrown semi-dried grass. Palestinians
some of whom are holding sticks throw stones at four settler men, who
wear white T-shirts.
Two carry riffles strung around their necks and one has a shotgun.
A fire burns behind the men and black smoke billows into the air. A
man who appears to be a settler can be seen trying to beat the fire
out with a shovel. Three soldiers stand next to the settlers with
The settlers can be shown shooting at the Palestinians who seem to be
only a short distance away. The settler with a shot gun, crouched one
knee, aimed and fired.
One Palestinian appears to be wounded by the gunfire and is carried
away by other nearby Palestinians.
The IDF acknowledged that a shooting incident had occurred and said
it was investigating the matter. It added that the videos did not
present the entire narrative of what occurred, but it did not
elaborate. It said that security forces had responded to the incident
and had taken steps to separate both sides and bring an end to the
According to B’Tselem, settlers lit fire to the grassy field near the
village, came within a short distance of the homes and threw rocks.
It noted that one of the settlers brandished a Tavor rifle used by
the infantry and speculated that one of the men was a soldier on
In addition, it noted that one of the settlers wore a blue cap,
similar to those worn by police. B’Tselem added that Palestinians had
thrown stones in response.
When the IDF and Border Police arrived, B’Tselem said, the officers
did not force the settlers to leave the area and did little to stop
B’Tselem lodged a complaint with the police and asked that it arrest
the settlers. It further asked the IDF to investigate the incident
and charged that the officers had not acted to protect the
Avraham, in turn, said the incident started after Palestinians lit
fire to fields near the settlements. He added that this is the third
week in a row that such fires have been set.
When firefighters and security personnel from the settlement
descended to try and put out the flames, they were attacked by
an “inflamed mob” of Palestinians who stoned them.
The security personnel, whose lives were endangered, shot to protect
themselves, he said.
Late Saturday night, Binyamin set out a video from the incident, also
shot by a Palestinian and posted on line, which showed soldiers
standing among Palestinians who threw stones at the settlers.