A video distributed by B'Tselem shows a clash between Palestinians and settlers near Nablus on Saturday which ended with the use of rubber bullets as IDF soldiers stood by and did nothing. A Palestinian man, Fathi Asira, 24, was injured and taken to the Rafidia hospital. Doctors say his condition is stable.
The video documents a group of Palestinians hurling stones at residents of the settlement of Yitzhar, some of whom were carrying rifles. One of the settlers was wearing an Israel Police hat.
Watch the B'Tselem video:
Shortly thereafter, a Palestinian carrying a stone in his hand approached two settlers, who in response fired in his direction. The camera is then seen changing angles, leaving the Palestinian's collapse to the ground unrecorded. At this stage, the settlers started withdrawing and the victim was taken away by his friends.
The clash erupted at around 4:30 pm in the village of Asira al-Kabaliya. An IDF force was dispatched to the site and witnessed the exchange but did not intervene.
The following video documents IDF soldiers near the settlers:
Yitzhar spokesman Avraham Binyamin said that the settlement's emergency squad and fire extinguishing team had been called to put out several fires started by Arabs from the village. "This is the third Saturday in a row that Arabs start fires in the purpose of harming Yitzhar's western parts," he said. "The team was attacked by a mob of hundreds of rioters who hurled stones at them."
Another video, by Palestinian TV, documents the Palestinians stone throwers in action:
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources claim that the settlers were the ones who started pelting houses in the village with stones. They claim that in addition to the gunshot victim, another Palestinian was hurt by a rock that hit his face. The Palestinians reported that IDF forces entered the village to stop the clashes.
B'Tselem has demanded that Shai District Police indict the settlers who were captured using weapons.
In Yitzhar, settlers are claiming that "the video faithfully documents the barrage of stones taken by the emergency squad members who were defending the firefighters with their bodies, two of which were hurt by stones earlier. The use of weapons by IDF forces or the squad members was made in a life threatening situation. Security forces will investigate the event."
Itamar Fleishman contributed to this report
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