Trip ended in tragedy
Photo: Solidarity Movement

2 more suspects arrested over killing of Palestinian

Four suspects under investigation for shooting during field trip near Bat Ayin. One hiker tells Ynet: 'It was a real battle'

Police are continuing their investigation into the killing of a 19-year-old Palestinian during a settlers' trip in Gush Etzion last Friday. Police arrested two more suspects Sunday in connection with the Bat Ayin shooting.


The two, a 46-year old resident of the Otniel settlement and a 22-year-old Ashkelon resident, are suspected of being involved in the shooting and they will be brought before a court for a hearing into the extension of their remand. They join two other suspects who were arrested over the weekend and whose remand was extended by four days.


The trip was taken by a group of 40 people from throughout the country - children, teens and adults. The day trips are organized by the 'David and Ahikam' organization, which was founded in memory of two IDF soldiers – Amihai Ahikam and David Rubin - who were murdered by terrorists during a hike in 2007.


Since its foundation the organization arranges day trips throughout Israel, with special attention given to the Judea and Samaria region. People are informed of when and where the trips are taking place through monthly emails.


One of the hike's participants, Shimi Prazot, 32, of Beit Horon discussed the shooting incident. "We came out of Kefar Etzion, walked to an ancient knoll and had breakfast there. Afterwards we received explanations on what we would be able to see from the lookout point.


"Then around 15-20 Palestinians gathered around us; one of them was holding a camera but we didn't think it was odd. When we finished our breakfast the tour guide led us to a nearby wadi to search for natural springs."


Panic and screaming

According to Prazot, the Palestinians ambushed them – throwing stones, using live fire and charges. "The area is very steep, so when we started walking down into the wadi we were suddenly attacked by a massive barrage of rocks which were being thrown at us with a great deal of precision.


"A member of our group from Petah Tikva was hit in the head by one of those rocks. We started running down the wadi while the barrage continued. There was a great deal of panic and screaming."


Prazot added "our group included 12-year-olds, women over the age of 60, and no one had planned for a situation like that. We didn't even know where to run to." He stated that when they reached the wadi, they heard shots and explosions.


"I remember someone yelling 'they have weapons'. I asked anyone in our group who had a weapon to cover the seniors' and children's escape. I cocked my personal weapon and hid behind a boulder.


"After a few minutes I understood that it wasn't smart to stay there so I ran to where everyone else was running. Eventually we joined some soldiers and from there we continued to the entrance to Bat Ayin, where police were waiting."


Prazot points the blame at the police who, he claims, did nothing to apprehend the Palestinian shooters: "They weren't trying to seize the weapons used by the Palestinians." He says that he wasn't a witness to the incident in which the Palestinian was killed. "I heard lots of shooting; I can't know who shot what. This was a real battle, I didn't even see who threw the rocks, I just saw them landing near me," he added.



פרסום ראשון: 01.30.11, 16:24
 new comment
This will delete your current comment