Anti-evacuation protest ends with violence against Palestinians: Veiled settlers blocking roads in protest of the evacuation of illegal outposts violently attacked Palestinians early Monday.
According to the Palestinians, four people were injured, one of them sustaining serious wounds, including a fracture in his skull. He was evacuated to a hospital in Nablus.
The police reported that one person was lightly injured. No suspects were arrested.
Shortly after 5 am, the Samaria District Police received a report on veiled settlers hurling stones on Road 55, near the settlements of Kedumim and Karnei Shomron.
According to the Palestinians, the settlers places stones on the road, and when the drivers came out of the cars to move them, they assaulted them and hurled stones at them. They also set fire to tires on the road.
Palestinian treated at Nablus hospital (Photo: Zakaria Sada)
The man who was seriously injured is 41-year-old Ali Sida, who was beaten along with a group of laborers making its way to Israel. Another Palestinian injured is Muhammad Khaled, 21, who was delivering vegetables from the village of Jayus to the village of Bita.
Khaled told Ynet, "I was transporting the vegetables when I encountered a road blocked by stones near Kedumim. I got out of the car, and dozens of settlers – 50 to 60 – began attacking me, broke the car and strongly beat me in the entire body.
He said he felt like he was being lynched, and was only rescued when soldiers arrived at the area. "I saw death before my eyes," he recounted.
An army force dispatched to the area reported being assaulted by the settlers. There were no injuries among the soldiers. The police said that no one was arrested.
Rabbis for Human Rights activist Zakaria Sada told Ynet, "This is the same pattern of action showing that this is a violent and well-planned action on the part of the settlers. The serious thing is that this happened at the entrance to Kedumim, where an IDF patrol is stationed on a permanent basis, as well as an army security camera, so the soldiers should have know who to deal with.
"This didn’t happen, and the soldiers who arrived at the area fired in the air towards the Palestinians rather than towards the settlers who returned to their homes. We demand that the army investigate this incident and take legal proceedings against the settlers."
One of the laborers said that the settlers beat him, and that when the soldiers arrived the Palestinian tried to approach them to complain. Then, he said, the troops fired in the air in order to keep them away. The Coordination and Liaison Authority in Qalqilya and the Kedumim police were informed of the incident.
'We are used to leftist and Arab lies'
On Sunday night and early Monday, hundreds of settlers blocked main roads following rumors that the security forces were planning to evacuate illegal outposts, including Ramat Gilad.
Following the rumors, settlers and right-wing activists were urged to come and "strengthen the outposts". The blocking of traffic routes was aimed at making it harder for the security forces to evacuate the outposts.
Sources in the settlements rejected the report about Palestinian injuries. "We are used to the groundless lies of the left-wing organizations and Arab organizations," one of them told Ynet. "As far as we know, no Arab was injured and there were no clashes."
The same sources noted that there was on incident in which settlers hurled stones at soldiers who had been mistaken for Arabs, but when they realized their mistake the violent acts were halted.
In another incident, the Samaria District Police received a report from the army about some 100 settlers who staged a demonstration at a West Bank junction on Sunday night in protest of the plan to evacuate outposts. Six youths were detained for questioning after blocking a main road and refusing to leave.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report