Settlers violently attack Palestinian-led hike near Jericho

Settlers violently attack Palestinian-led hike near Jericho
Israeli settlers attacked a group of Palestinians and international tourists near Jericho, where hiking has become a popular pastime recently.
2 min read
14 January, 2023
The four young attackers were reportedly from a new settler outpost in the area [Getty images]

Israeli settlers have attacked a group of hikers to the north of the ancient city of Jericho, using tear gas and batons and inflicting broken bones and facial burns. 

Videos on social media show the settlers swinging wildly at the hikers, screaming in Hebrew and Arabic, saying “I’m going to break your hands - I’m going to break your heads”. 

None of the walkers responded with violence despite the repeated attacks

The group were walking a well-known trail near the town of al-Ouja, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. 

An Italian national in the group received a fracture on her arm from a blow by one of the settlers

Palestinian walking groups have grown in popularity in recent years, asserting a right to the land and promoting healthy pastimes while space continues to be restricted by the Israeli occupation

The area around Jericho is rich with hiking paths, with valleys and streams that are regularly used by Palestinian locals and international tourists visiting the West Bank. 

Expanding settlements are encroaching on traditional walkways in the Jordan Valley area and bringing Palestinian hikers in ever closer contact with violent settlers. 

The settler men who attacked on Friday are occupants of a new  outpost, according to reporting by Haaretz - and are often seen harassing and impeding Palestinian shepherds who use the land. 

Illegal settler outposts in the West Bank have been hugely emboldened by promises from the new extreme-right Israeli government, who say they will approve legal status for the outposts in contravention of international law.