Following the horrific terror attack in Jerusalem, IDF soldiers escort masked settlers as they pelt the village of Urif with stones.
A group of about 50 — mostly masked — settlers from Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village Urif on Tuesday night under the protection and escort of IDF soldiers, Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din reported.
Video footage of the incident, which took place just hours after the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, clearly shows IDF soldiers not only doing nothing to stop the assault on Palestinians, but in fact guarding the settlers as they throw stones.
Some of the soldiers appear to fire crowd-dispersal weapons at young Palestinians who gathered on the edge of the village. A 13-year-old student from the village school was lightly wounded by a stone thrown at his head, according to Yesh Din.
In the video below, at minute 00:54, a masked Israeli settler can be seen hurling a stone in the direction of Palestinians, standing safely behind the soldiers, who look on.
Yesh Din, which has been monitoring the recently established Nationalistic Crimes Unit, an Israeli police unit meant to deal specifically with settler violence against Palestinians, found that in the two years since the unit’s establishment, the number of investigations that led to indictments has actually gone down. Since 2005, a mere 7.4 percent of investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property.
According to the organization, Tuesday’s attack is just the latest example of the IDF’s failure to meet its obligation to protect Palestinian residents of the West Bank, which it is expected to do under international law as an occupying force.
“Once again we discover IDF soldiers failing to meet their obligation to protect Palestinians subjected to vicious attacks by settlers in their own backyards,” said attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, legal advisor to Yesh Din’s criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project.
“The disturbing video footage demands vigorous investigation and the immediate prosecution of the soldiers involved. An examination must also be carried out of whether the soldiers’ commanders bear liability for the conduct of their subordinates,” she added.