Israeli settlers ditch quarantine to attack Palestinian campers, set cars on fire amid coronavirus fears

Israeli settlers ditch quarantine to attack Palestinian campers, set cars on fire amid coronavirus fears
A group of settler youth in a quarantined military facility attacked Palestinian campers and set their cars on fire in vicious attack.
3 min read
14 April, 2020
Netanyahu is urging Israelis not to leave their homes to celebrate Passover [Getty]
A group of young settlers who had been placed in a military-run coronavirus quarantine facility viciously attacked Palestinian campers and set their cars on fire on Monday night.

The settlers had been placed under quarantine after they come into contact with a sick patient who tested positive for Covid-19.

Police said they opened up an investigation though no arrests have been made - a common occurrence when it comes to settler violence against Palestinians.

According to the investigation, two Palestinians from Jenin and a third from Haifa – an Israeli citizen – had gone camping in southern West Bank.

The trio had set up their tent at an official camp site located near the military facility.

The settlers had initially approached the Palestinians and asked them for cigarettes before returning to the quarantine compound.

A short time later they returned and threw stones at the Palestinian campers, before setting their cars on fire.

The trio are from the settlement of Yitzhar, south of Nablus, known for its violent settlers and dubbed an “incubator for Israeli settler violence”. Just last month, residents of the settlement threw three fire bombs at a border police vehicle.

The Palestinians from the incident on Monday night were questioned by the police, but no arrests were made.

The settlers had been placed in a secluded tent last week after they refused to go into quarantine in a state-run coronavirus hotel. They allegedly protested against being separated during Passover, Haaretz reported.

This comes despite explicit instructions from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stay at home and only celebrate the religious celebration at home with immediate family.

Last week, Netanyahu imposed a full-scale lockdown, with assurances that he will lift them after the week-long festival ends.

In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu said the government was further restricting movement for Passover.

"Every family will sit down for Seder night on its own.

"Celebrate only with the immediate family that's at home with you now," he had said at the time.

An army major general who had also been in contact with the same patient, had been placed in quarantine with the settlers.

This isn’t the first incident of settler violence amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Israeli settlers spat on Palestinian cars in the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of East Jerusalem in what locals feared was an attempt to spread the deadly novel coronavirus.

The settlers from Ramot reportedly spat at cars driven by Palestinians that were entering and leaving the village.

Local Palestinians say this was a case of trying to spread coronavirus after a number of the settler population was tested positive for deadly disease.

Palestinian youth chased the settlers away after confronting them. They then proceeded to disinfect the road and cars to prevent an outbreak.

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