Israeli settlers on March 24, Tuesday, invaded a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian eyewitness accounts state that the Israeli settlers tried to provoke the Palestinians into a fight after entering Palestinian-owned farmlands in the Umm al-Safa village in the occupied West Bank. They reportedly attacked the village residents with sharp tools and wooden sticks. The attack left a middle-aged Palestinian man with serious injuries, including a skull fracture and internal bleeding.
The attacks on the Palestinian villagers and their farmlands reportedly took place between 12 pm and 5 pm. Following the initial provocation, more Israeli settlers joined in the attack. Several Palestinians were injured in the violence. 49-year-old Naji Tanatra, a father of six children, was severely injured and hospitalized. He requires surgery to recover from his injuries.
Residents aeported that the settlers, from an illegal Jewish Israeli settlements nearby, also let their cows loose inside Palestinian farmlands in order to damage the crops. They were accompanied by Israeli army soldiers who fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated metal bullets at the Palestinians’ homes. Several villagers suffered tear gas induced suffocation. The firing also damaged several homes in the village.
Umm al-Safa is a relatively small Palestinian village of about 750 residents and is surrounded on three sides by illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements – Ateret, Halamish and the Neze Tzuf settlement outpost. The Israelis have also built a road adjacent to the village to connect the three settlements to each other. Due to the proximity of the settlements to the Palestinian village, its residents have faced violent attacks and provocations by the Israeli settlers on a regular basis, as well as oppression by the Israeli army.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal and a war crime under international law.