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Israeli settlers attack Hebron neighborhood, injure 4 Palestinians

Aug. 5, 2017 10:28 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2017 10:25 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers injured four Palestinians in Hebron city overnight on Friday as they raided the Wadi al-Hassin neighborhood, located directly beside Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement.

The Palestinians sustained light to moderate wounds in the attack, according to locals.

Palestinian Red Crescent sources said that two Palestinians were transferred to a hospital for treatment, one of whom sustained an arm fracture and the other suffered from a head injury.

Locals said that Israeli settlers had attacked Palestinian houses in the neighborhood. Several residents told Ma’an that they had reported the incident to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Israeli police.

Local sources added that Israeli forces were present in the area at the time and had witnessed the assaults, without intervening.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. A spokesperson for ICRC said she would look into reports on the incident.

Israeli new outlet Ynet reported that a Jewish Israeli and two Palestinians had been injured during a "stone-throwing" incident between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in Hebron.

Ynet said that the Israeli and Palestinians were evacuated from the scene for medical treatment after the Israeli army "separated both sides," contradicting local testimonies that Israeli authorities in fact had done nothing to prevent the attack on the Palestinian neighborhood and shot stun grenades at Palestinians in the area.

Pro-Palestinian activist group International Solidarity Movement released a video of the incident, purportedly showing Israeli settlers throwing stones at Palestinians on their way back from Shabbat prayers. "Soldiers failed to disperse the settlers, but rather chose to disperse the Palestinians present with stun grenades," the group said.

In addition, the Gaza-based Shehab news agency released a video of the incident, also showing Israeli forces shooting stun grenades in the Palestinian neighborhood during the attack.

The settler attack came some two weeks after an Israeli settler takeover of the Abu Rajab family home located in the Old City of Hebron near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.

According to UN documentation, there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 77 attacks being reported since the beginning of 2017.

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.

Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.

Meanwhile, Palestinians allegedly or actually committing any attacks on Israelis are typically shot dead at the scene, in what rights groups have deemed "extrajudicial executions," or face long prison sentences.
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