14 July '11: Video: Soldiers stand by as settlers attack 'Asira al-Qibliya

Published: 
14 Jul 2011

On 3 July '11, at midday, settlers attacked the village of 'Asira al-Qibliya, claiming villagers had started a fire near the Yitzhar settlement. The attackers were armed with sticks and pieces of piping, some had covered their faces, and two carried weapons. They threw stones towards the village and broke some twenty olive trees. They injured one Palestinian by beating him. Villagers came to the spot and responded by throwing stones at the attackers.

Eyewitnesses reported to B'Tselem that approximately ten minutes after the attack began, security forces arrived in a jeep. Altogether, four to six jeeps with soldiers and Border Police officers came to the spot. The forces shot tear gas to disperse the Palestinians. The Palestinians report that, as in previous incidents, the forces did not take sufficient measures to prevent the settlers from attacking the villagers and their property. Qassem Saleh, a volunteer in B'Tselem's video camera distribution project, documented the incident from his house.

None of those harmed in the incident filed a complaint with the police, since Israeli authorities systematically refrain from enforcing the law on settlers who attack Palestinians. B'Tselem sent the full footage to the police and military, demanding that the attackers be located and an investigation opened into why the soldiers did not enforce the law.