Ma’an News reports that some “settlers” were detained by villagers after raiding the village.
Palestinian villagers from the Nablus town of Qusra on Tuesday held at least 18 settlers captive after they raided their village and tried to uproot olive trees, a Palestinian Authority official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers from the illegal outpost of Yesh Kodesh tried to uproot olive trees belonging to Qusra residents.
In the nearby village of Jalud, dozens of settlers attempted to uproot olive trees south of the main entrance. Jalud residents quickly mobilized to stop the attacks, leading to clashes.
Daghlas said that Qusra villagers managed to contain 18 settlers for several hours in an area between Qusra and Jalud.
Palestinian security sources told AFP locals had apprehended the settlers, some of whom were masked, after earlier clashes between the sides near Qusra village.
The governor of Nablus, Jibrin al-Bakri, later confirmed that the settlers had been transferred to Israeli military forces via Palestinian liaison officials.
The Nablus official praised villagers for their resilience in stopping the attack by extremist settlers and called on the PA to support farmers in rural areas.
“During the confrontation mutual rock-hurling took place, injuring some of the Israelis,” Israel’s army said in a statement.
“Initial inquiry suggests the confrontation erupted following a law enforcement activity which took place earlier today in Esh Kodesh.”
Esh Kodesh is a nearby illegal outpost, where military radio said the army had earlier uprooted an olive grove settlers had illegally planted.
A group of settlers then entered Qusra to provoke a clash, the report said.
Settlers routinely attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank.
Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October in 2012, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
And now for what Ma’an has not reported:
- The “settlers” were beaten up and almost lynched
- They claim they were abducted while hiking in the area
I will not claim to know what really happened – and thus won’t be parroting reports like this which uncritically accept the version of the beating victims.
And if it turns out they were there to uproot olive groves or otherwise cause trouble, I condemn their actions.
However, I condemn Ma’an’s agenda-driven reporting, those who suggest the beating victims got what they deserved, as well as those who compare them to terrorists who maim and murder.
Update: The jury is still out but I notice at least one inconsistency in the palestinian version.
Palestinian residents of the village however said the settlers entered their village, and attacked a young boy, who sustained head injuries as a result. Once the boy was attacked, the Palestinians said, several Qusra residents rushed to his defense and stopped the settlers.
Ma’an did not even mention this alleged attack on a boy, and you can bet your bottom dollar they would have had it actually occurred.
Update: A photo of the near-lynching taken from the Pal Times.
Just some harmless rock throwing.