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Glaring Inconsistencies in Reports of “Settler Bashing” of Elderly Palestinian Arab and His Wife

ABC News reports on an alleged “settler” attack on palestinian Arab villagers, following the murder of Yehuda Dimentman, including a vicious attack on one Wael Miqbel:

Jewish settlers burst into several villages in the occupied West Bank on Friday, smashing homes and cars and beating up at least two people, Palestinian officials said. The attacks came a day after Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli man in a shooting ambush in the territory.

The death of settler Yehuda Dimentman, killed when gunmen opened fire on his car near a West Bank settlement outpost late Thursday, threatened to ignite further violence between Palestinian residents and Israeli settlers. Two other passengers in Dimentman’s vehicle were lightly wounded.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activities, said groups of settlers entered several Palestinian villages near the northern city of Nablus early Friday, smashing up cars and homes. Two Palestinians required hospital treatment.

In the Palestinian village of Qaryout, settlers broke into one house and tried to abduct a local resident, Wael Miqbel, according to Daghlas.

When I see reports like this, based on testimony by palestinian Arab witnesses, my initial instinct is to view them with suspicion, given my experience analyzing such reports and the inconsistencies I find when doing so. And this is no exception.

Outlets like IMEMC News and Wafa News report it also as a kidnapping attempt, and add he was saved when locals rushed to his aid and freed him just in time:

Daghlas also said that the colonizers snatched a man, identified as Wa’el Bahjat, and tried to kidnap him, but the locals rushed to his aid and managed to free him before the assailants fled the area.

Notice his surname is different here.

Quds News Network adds that “Loudspeakers of the village’s mosques called for help,” which does not necessarily contradict the reports that locals rushed to his aid. But it is curious this detail was not mentioned in those other reports.

A much more glaring inconsistency appears in the version reported by the Jerusalem Post, which mentions that police are probing the attack, and adds some more details:

Security forces are investigating a report that settlers beat Wael Muqbel after “dragging” him from his home in the middle of the night in the Qaryout village in the aftermath of Thursday night’s West Bank terror attack outside Homesh that claimed the life of Yehuda Dimentman, 25.

Police are investigating the incident with support from the army.

Muqbel, 61, said that his wife Smeehah heard a knock at the door and woke him up at 3 a.m. so he could go and see who was there. 

“I went to the door and saw that they [the attackers] had broken the glass on the door. When I opened the door, I saw that one of them was dressed as a soldier,” Muqbel recalled.“

He said, ‘We are the army.’ They had someone with them. I thought he was my son, who returns late from work.

“I opened the door because I thought they were the army. As soon as I opened the door, they dragged me outside of the house,” Muqbel said.

It was at this point that they beat him, Muqbel said.

“I was injured in the eye and other parts of my face, as well as four broken ribs. They wanted to kill me. I lost consciousness,” Muqbel said.

The attackers also ransacked the house while Smeehah hid in the bedroom.

“They smashed everything inside the house. They damaged my car. They also damaged my tractor. They damaged our new kitchen. They also damaged the balcony at my brother’s home,” Muqbel said.

He has since been hospitalized in Nablus, where he was treated for four broken ribs and injuries to his eyes and face.

Notice here, the allegation is that “settlers” beat him and damaged his property. In this version they wanted to kill him, not abduct him.

Further questions are raised from this interview with Muqbel and his wife:

In this version:

  • Muqbel says the ventilation opening of the door was shattered, not glass
  • He claims the “army officer” was pretending to beat up the other man with him, something he does not mention in the earlier version (where he claims he thought it was his son)
  • He claims they immediately pepper sprayed him, another detail missing from the earlier version, where he claims they immediately dragged him outside the house
  • He claims he immediately lost consciousness after the pepper spraying, but before he claimed he was beaten and then lost consciousness
  • He claims they pulled his wife out of the bedroom and sprayed her with pepper gas, something else he does not mention in the earlier version (where it sounds like the wife was safely hiding in the bedroom while they damaged the rest of the house)
  • The wife claims they approached he, started shattering everything, had a short conversation, and pepper sprayed her before she fled to the bedroom, the very room the husband claims she was pulled out of before being pepper sprayed. Here she also sees them shattering everything, as opposed to them ransacking the house while she hid in the bedroom (per what the husband alleged in the other report)

Muqbel is also of multiples ages: 61, 62, or 65 depending on the report.

Perhaps it is these glaring inconsistencies in the story, or the lighting, but the blood in this photo of him looks fake:

I am not claiming that Wael Muqbel was not attacked by Jewish men out for revenge, I just don’t know what happened. What I am claiming is that it seems Muqbel, his wife, and other “witnesses” are at least embellishing the story – and the mainstream media should certainly not be parroting what they say without suspicion.

Update: Others smell a rat with that photo, suggesting it is a poor-quality photoshop:

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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