Photo: Amit Shabi
Unforgiving. Federman
Photo: Amit Shabi

British diplomats taunted by settlers in Hebron

Three British diplomats touring West Bank city find themselves in midst of altercation with extreme right-wing activist Noam Federman, other rightists

Three British diplomats visiting the West Bank city of Hebron Thursday, were attacked by a small group of Jewish settlers, the British Consulate said. No injuries were reported.


The diplomats claimed that the settlers blocked their path and attempted to damage the car they were riding in. Meanwhile, extreme right-wing activist Noam Federman claimed that the driver of the vehicle ran over his foot with the car.


The British diplomats were taking part in a tour hosted by the "Breaking the Silence" – an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the territories during the Second Intifadah.


According to the Michael Mankin, the diplomats' guide and a member of Breaking the Silence, upon making their way back to Jerusalem, they ran into Federman's car, which attempted to block their way.


"Federman blocked the road and we couldn’t get by. Then he got out of his car and began kicking ours. We started to go back on our tracks, into the city, and Federman got back in his car and sped by, blocking us again," said Mankin.


"At that point we called the police and began driving out of the city," he added.


'British are not welcome'

The Judea and Samaria dispatched a squad car to rendezvous with the diplomatic vehicle at Kiryat Arba. The police attempted to detain the British delegates' driver, but the diplomats refused to allow him to be questioned.


"When the policemen finally showed up, they checked our IDs and everything was fine," continued Mankin. "Then, out of nowhere, Federman pops up and says our driver ran over his foot. The police's reaction was very bizarre and it's getting more and more dangerous every week. Some has to stop it before it gets out of hand."


Noam Federman offered the following comment: "My father was arrested by the British when he was in the Irgun, and sent to a detention camp in Africa for five years. Today's British (government) wants to send the Jews living in Judea and Samaria into exile, but this generation is nobody's sap. Any British representative who tries to disrupt the Jewish claim to the land of Israel will get exactly what's coming to them."


The National Jewish Front issued a statement saying "the British chose to join leftist provocateurs. They seem to think the Mandate is still in effect. The British are not welcome here."


None of the parties involved have filed an official complaint with the police, at this time.


Efrat Weiss and Reuters contributed to this report  


פרסום ראשון: 08.07.08, 18:41
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