Settlers Attack Palestinian Youths While Israeli Soldiers Watch

Above: Hebron’s Shuhada Street used to be the centre of Palestinian life in Hebron, a thriving commercial area. But in the incremental evacuation of the Palestinians (since 1994) all the shops were closed down.

A group of Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked two Palestinian children in Hebron’s Shuhada Street in front of Israeli soldiers, who did nothing to stop the attack, a local group said. A local group known as Youth Against Settlements told Ma’an that 13-year-old Ahmad Hisham al-Azzah and Yazan Zeidan Sharabati were assaulted by a group of settlers in the southern West Bank city while the two were walking to their homes in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood.

The group later published a video showing the settlers attacking the Palestinian minors while soldiers looked on.

The video reveals that only after other Palestinians came to the scene to defend the teenagers, Israeli soldiers intervened — on the side of the settlers.

The soldiers then detained Yazan Sharabati and his father, Zeidan, accusing them of attacking Israeli soldiers.

The settlers, meanwhile, are not stopped by the Israeli soldiers.

The detained father and son were subsequently taken to a police station in the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba east of Hebron.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that the pair had been detained for “hurling rock at soldiers” and had been taken for questioning.

They were released a few hours later after the Palestinian military liaison department and a lawyer representing Youth Against Settlements intervened.

Hebron is a frequent site of clashes due to the presence of 500 Israeli settlers in the Old City, many of whom have illegally occupied Palestinian houses and forcibly removed the original inhabitants. They are protected by thousands of Israeli forces.

Settlers and Israeli forces regularly target local Palestinians for harassment, and many have been forced from their homes as a result.

A 1997 agreement split Hebron into areas of Palestinian and Israeli control.

The Israeli military-controlled H2 zone includes the ancient Old City, home of the revered Ibrahimi Mosque — also split into a synagogue referred to as the Tomb of the Patriarchs — and the once thriving Shuhada street, now just shuttered shops fronts and closed homes.