A group of Palestinian and foreign tourists were attacked Friday while on a hike near the village of Mu’arajat near Jericho in the West Bank, Haaretz has learned.
In a video documenting the event published on social media, several young men who appear to be Jewish settlers are seen waving batons at the group who were hiking in the area.
According to an Israeli security source, the young men also attacked the travelers with pepper spray.
Following the attack, soldiers arrived at the scene and escorted the hikers back to their bus, the source said. So far, no one has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack.
Samira, an Italian citizen who participated in the tour, told Haaretz that three of the hikers who were attacked were taken to the hospital and released with bruises. According to her, the group included about 41 participants, including Palestinians, Americans, French and Italians. She added that there were about six settlers at the scene of the attack, who she said “looked very young.”
“We started walking at 9 a.m. and walked down the mountains toward the end of the wadi, where a bus was waiting for us,” Samira said. “When we were nearing the end, settlers arrived with batons and pepper spray. They prevented us from continuing to walk and started attacking us.”
She said that she was beaten on her arm with a baton when she was taking pictures of the incident. After the attack, the group climbed back up the mountain and waited for about two hours while they contacted the various embassies and the Palestinian police, until finally soldiers arrived and escorted them to the bus.
Israeli activists who usually accompany Palestinian shepherds in the area told Haaretz that they recognize the attackers as occupants of a relatively new outpost in the area, and that the person attacking the group is specifically known to them as someone they often see accompanying a herd and threatening Palestinian shepherds.Article link: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-01-14/ty-article/.premium/group-of-palestinians-and-tourists-attacked-by-settlers-while-hiking-in-west-bank/00000185-afe7-db30-adc7-efff65f90000
Article source: Haaretz | Hagar Shezaf | Jan 14, 2023