Four Israeli Settlers Injured in Shooting Incident near West Bank Settlement

RAMALLAH, June 30, 2015 (WAFA) – Four Israeli settlers were injured late Monday after their vehicle came under gunfire near the illegal settlement of Shvut Rachel to the south of Nablus, said Israeli security and media reports.

Israeli media sources, such as Haaretz and Ynet, reported that the four injured settlers, all in their twenties, sustained bullet wounds in their upper and lower bodies. One of them sustained serious injuries and the three others sustained moderate injuries. They were immediately moved to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

The seriously wounded settler, aged 27, reportedly sustained injuries in his torso and is in a critical condition. The three others remain in a stable condition.

Following the incident, Israeli forces declared the area a closed military zone and set up checkpoints to search for suspects.

Local media outlets, namely Ma’an News, reported that dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the nearby town of Qaryout and imposed a curfew on its people.

Israeli media further reported on the head of the ‘Mateh Binyamin Regional Council’ and the ‘Yesha Council’, which groups together Israeli settlements in the region, reasoning that easing movement restrictions by Israel since the beginning of Ramadan was the reason for the occurrence of such incidents.

Israeli media reported that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) had claimed responsibility for the shooting. However, PFLP has not released any official statement declaring whether they are responsible or not.

Since the illegal occupation of the West Bank in 1967, over 500,000 Israeli settlers now live in the Palestinian territories, defying by doing that all international laws and charters.

Israeli settlers continuously subject Palestinians, who live close to settlers illegal settlements, to terrorist attacks and violations of human rights. Price Tag terrorist groups, in particular, frequently attack Palestinians and vandalize their property by setting arson, spraying racist phrases or physically assaulting unarmed and harmless Palestinians.

The attacks not only target homes and land, but also religious sanctuaries. In February, a mosque was set on fire in Jab’a, near Bethlehem with religious phrases and a Star of David spray-painted onto the structure.

Very recently, on June 18 2015, a price tag attack by Israeli extremists, targeted and burnt down part of the historical Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee.

The walls were spray-painted with the words ‘The false gods will be eliminated”, a citation from a Jewish prayer. No charges were filed against the assailants, but 16 Israeli youths, 10 from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus, were detained for a short time for interrogation and were later released.

According to the legal Israeli organization Yesh Din, between May 2013 and April 2014, over 132 terrorist attacks were initiated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian, their property and religious sites.

+972 news website listed all incidents with details explaining their nature, location and whether they were investigated or not. Despite of the rising number of incidents against Palestinians, Yesh Din noted that many Palestinians refuse to report on crimes committed against them to the Israeli police due to their lack of trust in the institution.