Israeli settlers attempt raid on West Bank village, residents fight back

Published April 6th, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
The Dawabsha home in Duma was almost completely destroyed by the arson attack in 2015. (AFP/File)
The Dawabsha home in Duma was almost completely destroyed by the arson attack in 2015. (AFP/File)

A Palestinian was shot and injured when clashes erupted overnight Tuesday after Israeli settlers attempted to raid the occupied West Bank village Duma, site of a fatal arson attack that killed all but one member of a Palestinian family last summer.

Locals told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli settlers arrived in vehicles to the entrance of the village, prompting over 100 Palestinian residents to crowd the area and prevent the group from entering.

Israeli military forces arrived to the area shortly after.

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Palestinian resident Muhammad Hassan, 22, was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet and transferred to Rafidiya hospital in moderate condition.

Dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces and settlers clashed with Duma residents, Daghlas added.

Locals said the settlers had attempted to enter Duma in retaliation for the arrest of Israeli extremists suspected and charged with the murder of the Dawabsha family, killed in July 2015 after their home was set ablaze.

Five-year-old Ahmad was the sole survivor of the deadly attack which killed both his parents, Saad and Riham, as well as his 18-month-old brother, Ali.

Following the attack on the Dawabsha family Israeli leadership pledged justice for the perpetrators, largely labelled “terrorists” by officials across the political spectrum.

The pledge was slammed by Palestinian leadership and rights groups who said Israel’s policy of impunity towards settlers enabled the attack to be carried out in the first place.

An Israeli extremist in January was charged on three counts of murder and a minor was charged as an accessory to the murder.

Months later unidentified assailants -- believed to be Israeli settlers -- set fire to the home of the only witness to the attack on the Dawabsha home.

A leader in Duma’s village council following the second arson attack slammed the Palestinian Authority for failing to provide aid requested for a local night watch to protect the village.

Nearly 90 Palestinian villages implement voluntary night patrols to protect against attacks by Israeli settlers, in areas of the occupied West Bank where the PA has no jurisdiction and locals say Israeli military forces are complicit in such attacks.

The UN reported in September that complaints lodged by Palestinians against settler attacks have a 91 percent chance of being dismissed without effective action, whereas around 95 percent of settler complaints against Palestinians proceed to court.

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