Terror charges for 2 settlers over alleged attack on Palestinian family
Jerusalem, Mar 30 (EFE).- Two Israeli settlers have been charged with terrorism for allegedly attacking Palestinians with an ax and stones in Huwara, a town in the northern occupied West Bank which was one of the focal points of violence in this year’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli press reported Thursday citing the Shin Bet Internal Intelligence Service.
The defendants – residents of settlements in the area – allegedly carried out the assault in early March, just days after hundreds of settlers had attacked Huwara, burning homes and cars and leaving one Palestinian dead in the largest-scale attack by Jewish settlers in recent decades.
The attackers were masked and threw stones. One of them approached a car with a Palestinian family in it and attacked the vehicle with an ax, according to images recorded by security cameras in the area.
The assault left five Palestinians hospitalized, including an elderly man and a child, while according to the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din, Israeli soldiers witnessed the attack without intervening. For its part, the army claimed that it acted “to disperse the riots”.
Both alleged attackers were arrested about a week after the attacks. The indictment against them includes several terrorism charges.
They are also suspected of being part of a “violent group that aims to cause harm to Palestinians and disrupt the activities of Israeli security forces”, the Shin Bet said, according to statements reported by the Times of Israel.
In the wake of a new spike in settler violence this year, Palestinians and human rights groups have accused Israel of not being tough enough on Israeli attackers, covering up for them or even being complicit.
Earlier on Thursday, a military spokesman also reported that the army arrested “a soldier suspected of acting violently against a Palestinian detainee”, following an investigation by the Military Police. EFE