Israeli forces fire grenade at couple holding baby

5 Mar

Video: Israeli soldiers throw tear gas at Palestinian couple running with baby

Ma’an News Agency, Bethlehem, 3 March 2018

Israeli NGO Yesh Din posted a video on Friday showing an Israeli soldier throwing a tear gas grenade at a Palestinian couple holding their baby in the northern occupied West Bank village of Burin in Nablus.

According to Yesh Din, a Palestinian couple with a young baby were attempting to escape from a house in the village that had come under tear gas fire from Israeli forces raiding the village.

“At least one tear gas grenade landed in one of the houses where a large family lives, and several residents suffered injuries resulting from inhalation of gas and smoke,” Yesh Din said in a statement on their Facebook.

“The soldiers and border police officers continued to fire the tear gas and stun grenades even when the occupants were evacuated to the ambulance,” the statement said.

The video shows the couple evacuating the area with their baby, and as they are running, an Israeli soldier throws a tear gas grenade at them.

According to Arabic media, Israeli border police reportedly commented on the incident saying that the soldiers “did not see the baby” and that that the couple “resembled rock throwers.”

Clashes had erupted between Palestinian youth in the village and Israeli forces after locals attempted to push out Israeli settlers who had raided the area.

According to Yesh Din, in recent weeks “there has been a series of violent incidents against Palestinians in the area around the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar,” an illegal settlement in the Nablus area home to notoriously aggressive right-wing Israelis.

“Among these incidents, at the end of last week, we documented Israelis hurling stones at homes in Burin, and one Israeli was even documented shooting in the air with a pistol,” Yesh Din said.

“A few days earlier, an unknown assailant attacked a Palestinian shepherd from the village of Einabus and slaughtered five sheep,” the group added.

An upwards of some 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law. The international community has repeatedly called their presence and rising population the main impediment to potential peace in the region.

Palestinian activists and rights groups have long accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

While the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers are permitted to carry guns, and are rarely held accountable for stone throwing or similar attacks, Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not.

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