Dozens of settlers attack left-wing protesters outside Anatot settlement, injuring seven, damaging cars. While settlers claim child hurt by stones cast by demonstrators
Yair Altman, Ynet news
Dozens of settlers clashed left-wing protesters outside Anathoth settlement, near Jerusalem on Friday, injuring seven and leading to the arrest of three others. Settlers claimed a child was injured by stones cast at her.
It all started when left-wing activists arrived to Anathoth to support Arab-Israeli activist Yassin Raffali, an east Jerusalem resident who decided to set up a tent inside the settlement in protest.
The situation heated up soon thereafter, as right-wing activists were caught on tape beating up the protesters, even leaving one man lying on the road, bleeding.
According to Anathoth secretariat what ignited the clash was the tearing of Israeli flags and stones being cast as kids passing by, allegedly injuring one child.
“In the midst of the holiday and as an act intended to stir up a brawl, dozens of anarchist, extremists activists joined him (Raffali) and entered the settlement. They began casting stones at kids and parents riding their bicycles.
“Afterwards the provocateurs began to wave Palestinian flags,” claimed an Anathoth secretariat official.
In a phone a call obtained by Ynet, the security chief of Anathoth warned the demonstrators that some of the settlers were planning to come and physically injure them. “The Border Guard is here not because of the flags. There are a few guys here that want to come up and kick your ass. To come there and hit all of you,” he told protesters.
Violent clashes continued as leftist activists returned to the settlement at night time to protest against the events of the morning. They blocked off the entrance to Anathoth after not being allowed in. In response, some 150 settlers confronted the activists, injuring four and puncturing their car tires.
Both sides presented conflicting tales as to the chain of events that night. The left-wing protesters claimed they were brutally attacked, as the gate to the settlement was opened and the settlers, lead by the security officer, began beating them up.
“We backed away from the gate… but more and more people came out and attacked us, causing damage to our vehicles. Some of them carried rubber clubs. Someone even carried a screwdriver. They grabbed people and lay them down on the floor, and beat them up. This continued for about an hour, as policemen stood by and did nothing,” claimed co-founder of the Solidarity Movement, Assaf Sharon.
However the settlers tell a different story: “Those anarchists returned in masses to the settlement to hold an illegal and violent protest outside the settlement’s gates. They blocked the entrance, attacked the residents’ cars.”
The Judea and Samaria District Police opened an official investigation into the matter. According to them, it is yet to be determined whether policemen were involved in the incident.
23 Israelis and Palestinians injured – some including broken bones and bloody gashes – in an attack by settlers from the settlement of Anatot just outside Jerusalem, West Bank
Mairav Zonszein, 972 magazine
According to Israeli activists, on Friday morning (Sept 30) Palestinian and Israeli activists were attacked by settlers near the settlement of Anatot, which is about 20 minutes drive outside of Jerusalem in the West Bank, just north of Maale Adumim. Activists came to accompany the owner of the plot of land to plant trees – when they were met by a large group of settlers, who attacked them and reportedly cracked open the head of the landowner and attacked his wife. The two have been hospitalized.
The only Israeli news outlet I’ve seen report on this is Ynetnews, which is reporting that 3 have been “lightly” injured in clashes between protestors and settlers, who “hurled stones at each other.”
According to the Ta’ayush activist I spoke to who prefers to remain nameless, the landowner, Abu Salah al Rifai and his wife Ayman, hold the ownership papers for their land, on which the settlement of Anatot was built in the 1980’s. Their case is a bit different from most Palestinians in the West Bank since Ayman has Israeli citizenship and therefore is actually allowed to enter the settlement and reach the land. The couple approached Ta’ayush activists several weeks ago and asked for help to prevent their land and property from being damaged by settlers.
Here is the Ta’ayush activists’ account of what happened Friday, in his own words:
“When we arrived Friday morning there was already a security officer there, who decided to call the police, but they did not interfere. However, more and more settlers from the area gathered on the main road a few hundred feet from where we were. I called the police and told them we felt in danger. There were some police cars on the road where the settlers were but they did not prevent the settlers from coming up to confront us. Some came up to us and started cursing and threatening. I called the police again. Then dozens came towards us and began attacking us. It really felt like a lynch. I was punched several times and fell to the ground and when I got up I rushed over to a border police officer and begged him to protect me and help me. I latched on to him for dear life but he didn’t stop them. My camera was taken from me and broken and my glasses had broken somwhere. I began running to the street with another activist and managed to get away from the settlement while many others were still being attacked. I managed to get out with only a broken hand and some bruises.”
Activists claim the police officers who were present at the scene did nothing while they saw the activists being beaten and their cameras smashed. Three other activists have been hospitalized and an additional three have been arrested by the police, who have not arrested any of the settlers, in spite of having witnessed everything.
Later in the day, more activists arrived to protest against the violence that took place earlier. They too were attacked and beaten and had stones thrown at them. In spite of police presence at the scene, the police did nothing.
Nineteen people were injured in the second attack, requiring medical attention, and three have been hospitalized. A total of 23 injuries were reported from this incident, and according to the twitter feed of a female activist who was there, settlers tried to rip her clothes off. There was also damage done to cars belonging to the activists, which were parked outside the settlement – smashed windshields, head and tail lights, and punctured tires.