From Sarit Michaeli, a B’Tselem Spokesperson, in a recent B’Tselem newsletter:
Last Saturday (26 May 2012), I witnessed events that I’d previously only seen in video footage or heard about from witnesses. During a meeting with B’Tselem volunteers in Asirah al-Qibliyah, we saw smoke from the direction of the neighboring village Urif. When we phoned people there, they told us that it was the result of arson. I drove to the area with B’Tselem’s field researcher Salma a-Deb’i, and we saw dozens of settlers from Yitzhar who invaded the village’s agricultural land. The settlers threw stones and set fire to the villagers’ fields and orchards. Some youths from the village approached them trying to douse the flames and some also threw stones at settlers. In one incident I witnessed and documented, Settlers from Yitzar’s emergency squad shot and severely wounded a villager, Najeh Ass’ad Najeh a-Safdi, aged 21, in his stomach. (To view videos click here)
All of this took place while there were dozens of soldiers present who did not stop the settlers – even after they set fire to the fields and wounded a-Safdi. While the army had increased the size of its force in the area, the soldiers evidently were not instructed to protect the Palestinian villagers. On the contrary – soldiers fired tear gas at village residents and delayed the evacuation of the wounded man. This incident took place just a week after a Palestinian from the village of Asira a-Qibliya was shot and injured by gunfire from this same settlement security squad. (To view videos click here)
B”Tselem is an Israeli human rights organization that advocates for the human rights and dignity of all. The recent project of giving advocates video cameras has resulted in numerous controversial videos showing the reality of human rights violations.