BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A 17-year-old Palestinian girl was injured Thursday after being deliberately hit by an Israeli settler car in the town of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem city in the southern occupied West Bank.
Tuqu municipality head Hatem Sabah told Ma’an that an Israeli settler hit 17-year-old Kawthar Muhammad Shawriya with their car while she was walking on a sidewalk in the town, which is located adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Tekoa.
Palestinian drivers who witnessed the attack, chased down the Israeli settler, forcing him to stop and pull over his car until Israeli police arrived at the scene, according to Sabah. He added that Israeli police opened an investigation into the incident.
Shawriya was reported to be in moderate condition, as she was transferred to the nearby Beit Jala Governmental Hospital for treatment.
The teenager’s family, according to Sabah, headed to the Etzion detention center to file a complaint with Israeli authorities against the settler.
An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Incidents involving Israeli settlers hitting Palestinians
in the occupied Palestinian territory are a relatively regular occurrence, and are usually treated by Israeli security forces as accidents, even in cases when witnesses claim the car rammings were deliberate.
Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity”
for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with announcements of settlement expansion earlier this year sparking condemnation from the international community.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.