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Injured Palestinian
Photo: Zakaria Sada
Photo: Rabbi Arik Asherman
Palestinians, settlers clash in Yitzhar (archives)
Photo: Rabbi Arik Asherman
Settlers said to shoot Palestinian, slaughter sheep
Palestinians accuse group of Yitzhar residents of firing at shepherd's brother near village of Ein Abus, butchering 10 sheep. Settlers deny allegations: 'Perhaps we also baked matzot from sheep's blood?'
A group of settlers from the Yitzhar area clashed Tuesday morning with Palestinians living in the West Bank village of Ein Abus. Palestinians reported that the settlers had fired at a shepherd's brother, who sustained light wounds and was evacuated to hospital by the Red Crescent. They also said the settlers had slaughtered 10 sheep.

 

Army and police forces were dispatched to the area and separated the two sides. No arrests were made.

 

Zakaria Sada of the Rabbis for Human Rights organization told Ynet, "I arrived at the hospital and saw the injured man, Nader Aldan. He told me his brother had called him and told him that settlers were descending towards the village and stabbing the sheep.

 

"The brother was with the herd. He went down towards him, spoke to the Coordination and Liaison Authority and directed them to the scene of the incident. They asked him to wait, said they were on their way, but in the meantime the settlers began firing at him. A bullet infiltrated his chest on the one side and came out on the other side. In the meantime, he has recovered from the injury and is talking."

 

The Palestinians' complaint is being looked into by the Israel Defense Forces and Civil Administration representatives, who are searching the area.

 

Yitzhar's residents, however, presented a different version of the incident. the settlement's spokesman, Yigal Amitai, said that "three Arabs from the village of Ein Abus tried to infiltrate Yitzhar's southern Tekuma neighborhood. They were driven away by an emergency squad, and a clash erupted, including stone throwing by both sides."

 

Amitai clarified, "We are unaware of an incident like the one described by the Palestinians, but it suits them to accuse us of such a response in order to cover up for their infiltration into the community. Tomorrow they may even accuse us – and there will be Jews who will believe it – of using the sheep's blood to bake matzot."

 

Noga Eitan, a spokeswoman for the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, said in response to the incident, "Despite the army and police's clear duty, and an explicit High Court order, the Palestinians remain defenseless in many events. The price tag is raised every day, which simply means settler terror against Palestinians."

 

Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said in response to the incident, "A Jewish intifada has been taking place in the territories in recent months, and the Israeli government stands idly by, doing nothing.

 

"Defense Minister Ehud Barak must handle the settlers' violence as a top priority, before this phenomenon worsens and results in people paying with their lives."

 

Ali Waked and Yael Levy contributed to this report

 

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