Israeli settlers attack Palestinian village, assault elderly couple in northern West Bank

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian village, assault elderly couple in northern West Bank
Israeli forces only intervened in the settlers' attack on the village of Burqa two hours later after it had started, a local source told The New Arab
3 min read
West Bank
17 December, 2021
Settlers attacked and tried to set fire to houses in the village of Burqa [Getty]

A Palestinian farmer in his sixties was taken to hospital after being attacked by Israeli settlers in the Palestinian village of Qaryoot near Nablus on Friday.

Wael Bahjat, who works as a farmer, was transferred to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus city, where he received treatment.

Samiha Bahjat, Wael’s wife, told The New Arab that a group of Israeli settlers surrounded the house at around 3:00 am, before breaking in.

“I woke up to the sound of violent banging on the door and told my husband that there were people outside,” Samiha recalled.

Wael “went down to see who was there, and as soon as he opened the door, some 15 men broke in and began to break and destroy everything in the house. I asked them who they were and what they wanted, and one of them said in broken Arabic: ‘We are settlers’", she said.

Holding sticks and rocks, the settlers destroyed furniture and windows around the house.

“They took my husband outside, threw him to the ground and began to beat him. When I began to scream and ask for help, one of them ran after me with a rock”, Samiha said.

“Before I locked myself up in the room, another settler managed to spray tear gas to my face,” she said, adding that the attack lasted around 10 minutes.

Large-scale attack

A few hours later, groups of Israeli settlers raided the village of Burqa, not far from Qaryoot, and began to attack houses.

Dozens of Israeli settlers entered Burqa at around 7 am and began to fire at houses with rocks and gunfire, Ghassan Daghlas, a resident of Burqa and head of the local popular committee against settlements told The New Arab.

“The Israeli settlers opened fire and threw stones at some 25 houses”, Daghlas said.

Young villagers clashed with the settlers, preventing their attempts to set fire on some 10 houses and to farmland.

According to Daghlas, Israeli forces entered the village two hours after the attack and began to fire tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinian youth.

“Hundreds of Israeli troops blocked the village entrance and started to disperse the village youth”, he said. “There have been several injuries by the Israeli soldiers, but we don’t have an exact number because the attack is still ongoing.”

Late on Thursday, an Israeli settler was killed and two more wounded in a gun attack on their car, on the road between Nablus and Jenin. The Israeli army claimed that Palestinian militants were behind the attack.