HEBRON, West Bank (AP) – Newly released video footage shows an Israeli settler badly beating a Palestinian man outside a West Bank settlement, the second such incident captured on film in less than a month.
Mithat Abu Karsh, 30, said he and several other residents of the Palestinian village of Samua in the southern West Bank were trying to work their lands near the unauthorized settlement outpost of Asael on Saturday when they were accosted by settlers. The settlers set fire to the fields, then seized Abu Karsh, tied him and beat him, he said.
Bruises and red marks were visible on his face and elsewhere on his body.
Israeli and foreign activists were accompanying the Palestinians in an attempt to deter such attacks, and the activists caught the end of the incident on film.
Footage released by the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement shows a man sitting bound on the ground next to several Israeli soldiers. A settler then approaches and kicks the man in the head before one of the soldiers pushes the settler away.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said one Israeli was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault. Six Palestinians were questioned on suspicion of provoking the incident by setting fire to the field, but they were later released, he said.
The military said only that troops were called to separate Palestinians and settlers who were clashing near the settlement.
In a similar attack in the same area on June 8, settlers left an elderly Palestinian couple and their nephew wounded from blows to the head, face and hands. That incident was also caught on camera.
Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, said such attacks are getting more publicity because they are now videotaped more often. Since last year, B’Tselem has been equipping Palestinians with video cameras in order to document settler violence and spur the Israeli police to take action against offenders.
Unauthorized settlement outposts like Asael were built against Israeli law, but typically with the tacit or active cooperation of Israeli authorities. The outposts are home to some of the more extreme Israeli settlers.