Dozens of Israeli settlers gathered on the main road of the village of Tuqu in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Friday to protest Palestinian youth throwing rocks at their vehicles in the area.
Crowds of Israeli settlers closed the main road connecting the Hebron district to the rest of the southern West Bank. Witnesses said the the settlers chanted “anti-Arab slogans.”
Israeli settlers waved Israeli flags, while the Israeli army and police forces raided the village and “provided the settlers with security.”
— al whit (@soitiz) May 5, 2017
Locals added that Israeli soldiers had also stationed themselves on rooftops of nearby buildings.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident.
Earlier this week, it was reported that illegal settlers destroyed a well in the area. The 100-square-meter well was built almost 250 years ago, according to Wafa News Agency, and is located near the illegal settlement outpost of Sde Boaz, built on Palestinian-owned land.
— Susan John-Richards (@SJRTooting) May 3, 2017
While Israeli settlers routinely throw stones and harass Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, they are rarely reprimanded for it.
Palestinian stone-throwers, in stark contrast, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, including up to 20 years in prison if charged with throwing stones at vehicles and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
Israel detains hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone-throwing every year, and Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, “93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months.”
Settler attacks on Palestinians seldom result in any actions being taken by Israeli authorities. According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks on Palestinians in 2016, with 46 attacks reported since the start of 2017.
(Maan, Wafa, PC, Social Media)