Group: Palestinian shot as Israeli troops stood by (AP) Associated Press) 05/21/12 7:24 am ET)
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JERUSALEM – An Israeli human rights group has released a video that
suggests Israeli soldiers stood by while Jewish settlers opened fire
on Palestinians in the West Bank, wounding one.
The B´tselem group says settlers from Yitzhar descended over the
weekend on the nearby village of Asira al-Qibliya, where they threw
rocks at Palestinian homes. Village youths confronted the settlers,
and rocks started flying on both sides, B´tselem said. Settlers later
opened fire, shooting a 24-year-old Palestinian man, who was
hospitalized in stable condition, the group said.
Three soldiers appear in the footage, which was obtained by The
Associated Press on Monday. They apparently did not stop the settlers
from throwing rocks or shooting at the Palestinians and one soldier
is seen running away from the unrest.
The footage "raises grave suspicions" the soldiers did not act to
prevent settlers from firing, B´tselem said.
The Israeli military said the incident was being investigated but "it
appears that the video in question does not reflect the incident in
A spokesman for the settlement said the incident was touched off by
Palestinians who set fire for the third week in a row to fields near
Yitzhar. Fires were burning in the footage.
The spokesman, Avraham Binyamin, said the settlers´ security squad
and firefighting team were attacked by dozens of Palestinians
"When a person´s life is threatened, it´s his right to defend
himself," he said.
He said the soldier who was in command didn´t take charge of the
situation and quell the unrest, and fled after being struck by a rock.
Ahmed Abdul Hadi, council chief for the Palestinian village, said
settlers frequently attack their community of 3,000 people.
"This time, they clearly wanted to kill somebody," Abdul Hadi
said. "They don´t normally fire, but unfortunately, this time the
army was there and watching. We hope the Israeli government will
prevent the settlers from attack us, not support them."
The Palestinian government in the West Bank called on Monday on the
Israeli government to open a fair investigation to bring the
attackers to justice. (© 2012 The Associated Press 05/21/12)
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