Video documentation: Soldiers escorting Yitzhar settlers on violent rampage

Published: 
8 Oct 2015

B'Tselem volunteer filmed a masked settler helping a soldier fire tear-gas canisters at Palestinians

Subsequent to the attack in which Palestinians killed Eitam and Naama Henkin, settlers attacked Palestinians and their property in many parts of the West Bank. Large groups of settlers approached villages in the Nablus area and threatened their residents, threw stones at them, set fire to fields and olive groves and vandalized property. The attacks began with news of the killing, and went on for several days in a row. Dozens of settlers descended from Yitzhar to the villages Burin and 'Urif, and B'Tselem volunteers in the villages documented the events with video cameras. Footage shows that soldiers were present at the scene throughout the incidents, but did not prevent attacks or arrest perpetrators. On the contrary, the soldiers accompanied settlers on their rampage, and used crowd-control weapons against Palestinian youth from the villages, who threw stones at the settlers in order to push them back.

The most blatant example of the tacit support of the settler rampage by forces on the ground, as well as the shirking of the military's obligation to provide protection to Palestinians was filmed by B'Tselem volunteer Widian 'Imran in Burin on the 3.10. The video shows a soldier among masked settlers near the village. Some of the settlers are seen throwing stones towards the Palestinians. The soldier not only refrains from stopping the settlers, but on the contrary, is helped by a masked settler who carries his military backpack containing tear-gas canisters, and even loads the canisters onto the soldier's six-shot launcher.

Footage from the incident by Widian 'Imran:

Footage by B'Tselem volunteer Bruce-Lee 'Eid:

The next day, B'Tselem volunteer 'Adel al-'Amer documented a large scale settler attack in the village 'Urif, south of Yitzhar, in which settlers set fire to fields and vandalized olive trees, all in the vicinity of soldiers who did not prevent the attack or act to stop the perpetrators, but fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets at the Palestinian youth who came to the olive groves to defend their property.