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Settlers attack homes, one with live fire; soldiers shoot at Palestinians trying to defend their property

On the evening of 10 September 2021, at around 7:30 P.M., about 10 settlers passed through the a-Ras neighborhood in central Hebron and verbally confronted several young Palestinians. Two...
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Settlers attack homes, one with live fire; soldiers shoot at Palestinians trying to defend their property

On the evening of 10 September 2021, at around 7:30 P.M., about 10 settlers passed through the a-Ras neighborhood in central Hebron and verbally confronted several young Palestinians. Two soldiers who were escorting them drove the Palestinians away, and then the settlers attacked the home of ‘Abd al-Jawad and Maha al-Ja’bari with stones.

In response to the attack, some of the young Palestinians returned and started throwing stones at the settlers to try and stop them. One of the soldiers fired live shots at the Palestinians and they fled again.

At that point, more soldiers arrived. They entered the al-Ja’bari family’s home and two other houses, claiming they were searching for the Palestinians who had thrown the stones. Meanwhile, the settlers continued throwing stones at the family’s home and the soldiers did nothing to stop them. The assault on the home lasted about an hour, until a police car arrived and the settlers fled towards the settlement of Kiryat Arba, which lies about 200 meters away.

‘Abd al-Jawad al-Ja’bari in his sewing workshop. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B'Tselem, 9 December 2021
‘Abd al-Jawad al-Ja’bari in his sewing workshop. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B'Tselem, 9 December 2021

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 12 September 2021, ‘Abd al-Jawad al-Ja’bari (39) said:

I live with my wife Maha (30) and our five children in a house that overlooks the main street leading to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. About 10 meters further along the street is the a-Rajabi building, where settlers live.

On 10 September 2021, at around 7:30 P.M., I was sewing bags in my workshop below our house. I saw about 10 settlers between the ages of 20 30 walking along the main street together with two soldiers. They came across several young guys from the neighborhood and started cursing them, and the young guys cursed them back. The soldiers ordered the young guys to move away and when they did, a female settler came and scolded the soldiers for not arresting them.

Then, about 15 settlers started throwing stones at my house. Some of the young guys started throwing stones at them, and then a soldier fired live shots at the guys. Meanwhile, more soldiers arrived. I went over to the officer who was with them and told him that settlers were attacking my house, but he said that he didn’t care and was there to arrest the young Palestinians who had thrown stones. Then the soldiers raided our house, my brother’s house, and another house in the neighborhood. They said they were looking for the Palestinian guys. During that time, the settlers continued throwing stones at my house. They kept it up for about an hour and only left when a police car arrived. The soldiers stayed on the street until about 11:30 P.M. and left without arresting anyone.

After the settlers returned to Kiryat Arba, a settler passed by the Abu S’eifan family’s home, which lies in the Wadi al-Hussein neighborhood about 700 meters from the al-Ja’bari family’s home and several meters from the settlement fence. The family were out on their porch celebrating a birthday. The settler yelled at them to “get inside” and fired several live bullets in their direction with a handgun. No one was injured, and he went on his way towards Kiryat Arba.

Following the shooting, several soldiers, a Civil Administration jeep and a police car arrived and the family told them what happened. Jamal Abu S’eifan, a family relative who had captured the incident on his camera, filed a complaint at the Kiryat Arba police station that night.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari, Jamal Abu S’eifan (51) recalled:

On Friday, 10 September 2021, at around 7:45 P.M., I was sitting at home with my wife Jihad when we heard gunfire nearby. Jihad went outside to see what was happening. She came back quickly and told me that settlers were attacking ‘Abd al-Jawad al-Ja’bari’s house, which is near the a-Rajabi building. I grabbed my camera and started filming what was going on from my yard. I saw about 15 settlers throwing stones at ‘Abd al-Jawad al-Ja’bari’s house in full view of Israeli soldiers. Apparently, young guys from the neighborhood responded by throwing stones at them, and the soldiers opened fire at the guys.

While I was filming what was happening near the a-Rajabi building, I saw a settler who was about 30 years old holding a handgun and running along the dirt road towards the a-Rajabi building. Then I saw him head back in our direction, along the dirt road that leads to the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

He pointed his gun at our houses and started acting hysterically. He started firing shots at my uncle’s house, where the family was sitting on the porch celebrating their daughter-in-law’s birthday.

The settler fired about six shots. I managed to film four of them. I heard women and children screaming in my house and in other houses nearby. People were running away. The settler came and stood in front of my house and aimed his gun at a window that was a few steps away from me. He pulled the trigger, but I guess he ran out of bullets so he picked up a large stone, threw it at me and ran away.

I went outside and saw two soldiers running along the dirt road. I called out to them, and they turned around angrily and yelled at me to get back inside. I yelled back at them that a settler had been shooting at people’s homes. They didn’t believe me at first. They stopped next to my house and talked on a two-way radio, and then more soldiers came and started collecting bullet casings from the ground.

An Israeli police car and a Civil Administration jeep also arrived. The police officers and the Civil Administration people listened to our accounts of what happened. Then one of the officers asked me to go with him to the police station to give a statement. I gave them a copy of the footage I’d managed to film and rode with them in the police car until around 10:00 P.M. At the police station, I was left outside in the parking lot until 1:00 A.M. and only then was taken inside to speak with an investigator, who only knew Hebrew. I gave my statement through an Arabic translator, showed them my footage and filed a complaint.

I left the police station at around 2:00 A.M. The police drove me back to a-Ras Street, which is near the a-Rajabi building, and from there I walked along the dirt road to my house.

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