A six-year-old Palestinian boy and his three-year-old brother were wounded on Thursday night when a group of Israelis attacked their family’s vehicle. The settler attack took place outside Ramallah after the family just left their home to visit relatives in the northern West Bank.
The Middle East Eye reports that 6-year-old Majd was injured in the face with a rock, while 3-year-old Jad was cut by broken glass. While their father, Alaa Sawfta, was fairly unharmed, the little boys’ mother had her arm injured by a rock flung into the car.
Sawafta said, “It was around 8.10pm, so it wasn’t late at all. He said, “We were on the highway when two figures on the side of the road started motioning their flashlights at us.” Sawafta assumed the two people were Israeli police telling him to pull over, as it was dark and he could not make them out since there were no streetlights. He said he slowed down and pulled over. He remembers, “Just two seconds after I came to a stop, dozens of people came out of nowhere from the sides of the road and started attacking the car.”
Seeing they wore civilian clothing, and carrying knives, bats, large sticks, and huge rocks, Sawafta realized his family was under attack from settlers. The family’s vehicle was beaten with objects and damaged by rocks, which shattered the windows. Sawafta’s family was hysterical. He says he finally realized he had to away or they would all be killed, and so he sped off. He said, “Thank God we had the doors locked. I think they were trying to pull us out of the car and kill us.“
According to the Middle East Eye, Israeli human rights organization, Yesh Din, reported that there were several incidents on Thursday night where Israeli settlers had blocked roads across the West Bank, and threw rocks at cars belonging to Palestinians. The organization said that they had documented 44 settler attacks against Palestinians in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Wafa, the official news agency of the Palestinian Authority, reported that three of Thursday night’s attacks on Palestinian vehicles occurred in full sight of Israeli occupation soldiers, who did nothing to stop the settlers and instead protected the perpetrators. Hani Nassar, of the Defence for Children International – Palestine, said “It is also very clear that the attacks are being organized and coordinated, not just among the settlers, but with the soldiers as well.”
Umm Muhammed Umar