Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vicious settler attack on Palestinian family

Last night, at one o'clock in the morning, our group, along with other activists in Hebron, received a very disturbing call.
There was a horrific attack by Israeli settlers, on a Palestinian family, the Sharabatis. A group of twenty settlers began to throw rocks at the house where they were staying. They tried to break their way inside, and began spraying people with gas. A crowd of angry Palestinian neighbours, from three other families showed and tried to block them from entering the home. The settlers began throwing rocks at them, and then the army moved in to protect the settlers.

By the time we got to the scene, there was a line of soldiers blocking off Palestinian men who were demanding to go see what happened. Two Palestinians ran in with a stretcher, and were allowed by the soldiers to enter. They took a man out who I saw had gauze all over his face. A few minutes later, an ambulance came out, with more wounded Palestinians inside. Some of us left to get a better view from a different angle but were unable to, so we came back. The activists who stayed told us they saw 2 more wounded Palestinians carried out, including a woman.

Some of the Palestinians began speaking to the soldiers, many of whom were smirking. I asked them what happened, and they kept saying "we don't know". One of them grinned, pointed to the sky, and said "only God knows". I got upset and told him that he is right, God does know and God is just.
One of the soldiers told me, when I asked repeatedly what happened, to ask the Palestinians. I told him that they tell me that settlers just attacked several Palestinian families, and wounded many of them. The soldier just smiled.

Below are some exchanges I witnessed.

One of the Palestinians asked the soldiers why does he not arrest the settlers.
Soldier: "am I arresting you?"
Palestinian man: "Why would you want to arrest me? I am not doing anything wrong. I did not throw any stones. Would you arrest a settler if he attacked me"?
Soldier: "No. I am here to defend people"
Palestinian man: "Who are you here to defend?"
Soldier: "I am here to defend my country"
Palestinian man: "where is your country?"
Soldier refuses to respond.

Maciek Moskwa, the Polish journalist staying with us, after the first person was carried out on a stretcher, asked he soldiers what happened to the injured person.
The soldier asked him to go ask the wounded.
Maciek replied that the wounded man was unconscious, and asked if the soldier's reply was the official reply of the Israeli army that he could cite. The soldier did not respond.
Another Palestinian man I overheard saying to a soldier:
"If you want to be a hero, go to Gaza, fight Hamas. There are only civilians here".
One of the soldiers did look disturbed by what happened, and told me sadly "there is so much hatred here".

Others of them however were not only smirking and laughing, but also posing for photos.

The soldiers kept pushing people back, eventually they began to march towards everyone menacingly. People began to move back in fear, afraid they were going to be arrested. The Palestinians went back home, and we went back to our apartment.

We learned later that 6 Palestinians were wounded that night, including a five year old boy who was very heavily bleeding after one of the settlers hit him with a rock.

It was a very disturbing and horrifying experience.

May those who are so full of hatred that they can  bring themselves to commit such atrocities against other human beings, turn to Christ and repent, before it is too late. May God bring justice and peace to the Palestinian people in Hebron, and everyone else in the Holy Land.

A crowd of angry Palestinian men and youth being blocked by the soldiers. Despite the fact that they were furious at what happened, no one attempted to harm the soldiers.
Palestinian medics carrying a stretcher run towards the soldiers. Six injured Palestinians were taken to the hospital.

More Palestinians and internationals trying to talk with the Army.

One of the soldiers who was grinning and smiling and making sarcastic comments, as he refused to answer questions about what happened to the Palestinian family.

People running from the soldiers, after they began marching towards us intimidatingly.

 Video taken by ISM of wounded Palestinians being rushed away. The child wrapped up in blankets is a badly beaten five year old boy.

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