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Settler filmed firing towards Palestinians with IDF weapon

CM 02/08/2021

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An Israeli settler was filmed this week shooting towards Palestinians in the West Bank with the rifle belonging to an IDF soldier, a video released by B’Tselem shows.
The incident, which occurred on July 26th near the village of al-Tuwanai, is the latest in a series of incidents involving Jewish settlers and Palestinians near the city of Hebron.
In the video released by the left-wing NGO, the settler arrived at the scene in a military jeep before he shot in the air towards Palestinians with an IDF weapon.  
The soldier later drove away and the settler returned without a shirt and the soldier’s weapon and is seen picking up large rocks to throw towards them before he is separated by IDF troops to tell him to leave the area.

The Palestinian who filmed the incident is heard telling IDF troops that the one running away was the settler who had shot in their directions.
A resident of the village was quoted by Haaretz as saying that “the soldier gave him his M-16 and stood with the army jeep really close to him, 5 to 10 meters from there.”
Another eyewitness who was on the roof of his home with 10 children told Haaretz that “all of us shook, he didn’t fire in the air, he shot towards us.”
Groups of masked settlers were then later filmed in the distance destroying trees and throwing stones.
A soldier was filmed calling for backup and is heard saying “tell them we can’t, three of us against all of them.”
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, “a violent incident developed between settlers and Palestinians” near the Maon farm in the south Hebron hills where both sides threw stones and Palestinians shot fireworks towards settlers.
“An IDF soldier picked up a settler in the military vehicle who wanted to direct us, and when they arrived, stones were thrown at the vehicle. In response, the settler took the weapon from the soldier and fired it into the air. There were no casualties,” the IDF said. “In light of the severity of the incident, the soldier was summoned for an immediate investigation and clarification by the brigade commander, and the regulations were clarified.”
B’Tselem has reported a rise in settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank in recent months and has accused the IDF of turning a blind eye to it.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in 2020 there was “771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles, ‘mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Ramallah.’”

The area around Hebron has been a hotbed of violence during the wave of stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming attacks that broke out in 2015. And while the number of deadly attacks has decreased, the overall amount of attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF troops has remained high.  Source: Jerusalem Post

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