Israeli troops watched as a group of settlers damaged olive groves and threw rocks at Palestinians on the fringes of a Palestinian community in the northern West Bank on Friday afternoon.
After a violent settler rampage in the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara earlier in the week, Israeli troops and hundreds of left-wing Israeli demonstrators engaged in combat. This led to the event.
The Yesh Din rights organization released video showing masked settlers throwing rocks at Palestinian homes in the village of Burin, close to Nablus, and damage olive trees on the town’s borders. Soldiers can be seen standing nearby without interfering.
Yesh Din claims that at first, a small group of settlers who were accompanied by soldiers arrived in the northeastern region of Burin and started destroying the olive trees and seedlings. The rights organization claimed that later, a larger mob entered the area and threw stones at houses, breaking several windows.
According to Yesh Din, the army fired tear gas towards the town of Burin when the settlers challenged the Burin locals. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 30 Palestinians were reportedly treated for inhaling tear gas.
A group of settlers on Friday afternoon were documented hurling stones at Palestinians and damaging olive on the outskirts of a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank, as Israeli soldiers stood by.
The incident came hours after Israeli troops clashed with hundreds of left-wing Israeli activists trying to enter the nearby Palestinian town of Huwara on a solidarity visit following a deadly settler rampage there earlier in the week.
In footage published by the Yesh Din rights group, masked settlers could be seen hurling stones at Palestinian homes in the village of Burin, near Nablus, and damaging olive trees on the outskirts of the town. Soldiers are seen standing next to them, without getting involved.
According to Yesh Din, initially, a small number of settlers escorted by soldiers arrived at the northeastern part of Burin and began damaging the olive trees and saplings. Later, a larger group came and hurled stones at homes in the village, shattering several windows, the rights group said.
Yesh Din said the settlers also confronted residents of Burin, and in response, the soldiers launched tear gas at the town. Some 30 Palestinians were reportedly treated for tear gas inhalation, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
There has been a rise in settler violence in recent months, and soldiers are sometimes seen standing by as they occur. Soldiers are legally permitted — even required in some cases — to intervene to prevent violent attacks, regardless of nationality. The military generally prefers that police deal with the attacks and settler arrests, but police forces are stretched thin in the West Bank.