Masked settlers allegedly attacked a home on the edge of the Palestinian West Bank village of Burin with stones and set fire to a nearby field on Saturday, according to video evidence published by the left-wing organization Yesh Din.
The video showed young men with cloth head coverings that covered their faces.
Israeli extremists set fire to a field near the Palestinian village of Burin in the West Bank, October 26, 2021. (Video credit: YESH DIN)
One young man in jeans could be seen setting fire to grassland, while a brush fire rages behind them on the parched hillside.
Another young man in the video could be seen throwing a stone at the direction of a Palestinian home in Burin, which is located in Area B of the West Bank near the Palestinian city of Nablus.
The IDF said that it had received a report of an altercation between settlers and Palestinians, which included stone throwing and attempted arson by both groups near both the Givat Ronen outpost and Burin.
Initially, a military patrol unit acted to disperse the participants. It received back up support from a reinforcement unit, the IDF said.
Palestinians stoned the IDF reinforcement unit, the army said, adding that its soldiers then responded with riot dispersal means. The IDF added that the video from the scene did not show the full scope of the incident.
The initial patrol unit that arrived had only a small number of soldiers and it waited for the reinforcement unit before fully responding, the IDF said.
Yesh Din said that the incident initially involved some 15 Israeli civilians but that the number grew to 30.
Palestinians responded by throwing stones and a clash erupted, Yesh Din charged. When the IDF arrived, soldiers threw stun grenades at the Palestinians and did not arrest any of the Israelis, the NGO said.
One Palestinian, in his late twenties, was hit in the head by a stone and was treated at the scene. Others were lightly injured, Yesh Din said.
The attack occurred amid a heightened focus on violence by settlers and Jewish extremists in the West Bank, against both Palestinians and Israeli security forces.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted that he had “directed the IDF to act systematically and without compromise, together with the Shin Bet and police, against any violence: against Palestinians, Jews and, of course, the security forces.
היום בהערכת המצב השבועית, הנחיתי את צה”ל לפעול באופן מערכתי, תקיף וללא פשרות, ביחד עם כוחות השב”כ והמשטרה, מול כל גילוי אלימות – נגד פלסטינים, יהודים וכמובן מול כוחות הביטחון. נפעל כדי לגדוע את התופעה בכל האמצעים שלרשותנו.
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) October 14, 2021
“We will work to cut off the phenomenon with all the means at our disposal,” he pledged.
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held a meeting on the phenomenon last week, with Meretz politicians charging that security forces were assisting the Jewish extremists in carrying out such violence.
Yesh Din Executive Director Lior Amihai called on Gantz and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev to take action.
“How long will we endure this violence being carried out in our names?” Amihai asked. “Gantz, Bar-Lev – this is your responsibility.”
The Burin attack was the second that Yesh Din brought to light over the weekend.
The attackers assaulted the 50-year-old mother of the family with pepper spray, Yesh Din charged. It added that before fleeing, the attackers also threw stones at the Palestinian family’s car and at another car in the area.
Separately, the IDF and the Border Police reported two cases of Palestinian violence against Israelis.
On Thursday, two Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at vehicles on Route 60, near Beit Jala in the Gush Etzion Region of the West Bank, at a section of the route known as the tunnel road.
Soldiers fired at the Palestinian suspects, killing one and wounding the other.
Police at the scene fired at the 22-year-old Palestinian attacker as he fled. They arrested him after his vehicle hit a wall.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.