Israeli settlers went on a rampage in the West Bank town of Huwara late Sunday, setting fire to several homes and cars and injuring dozens of Palestinians. In addition, in the village of Za’tara, south of Nablus, on Sunday evening, Israeli troops shot and killed Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aqtash (37 years old). Earlier two Israeli settlers were shot dead by two Palestinians.
Israeli soldiers were present during the attack but refused to intervene to stop the Israeli settler paramilitary assault on Palestinian civilians. Palestinian civilians, running for their lives out of their burning homes, begged the Israeli soldiers to stop the Israeli settlers, but they refused.
Palestinian firefighters and civilians worked hard to put out the fires. The preliminary assessment of damage found that at least 100 cars were burned. 35 houses were completely burned. 40 houses were partially burned.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a Palestinian was critically wounded in the head during the attack by the settlers, who were under heavy protection from Israeli forces.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society meanwhile said that 95 Palestinians tear gas inhalation when they were confronted by Israeli soldiers.
It added that a Palestinian was also stabbed and another was hit by a piece of metal and were both transferred to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu that dozens of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli forces raided Huwara and vandalized Palestinian properties including setting fire to several homes and cars in the town.
The settlers attacks came following the deaths of two Israeli settlers in Huwara by a Palestinian who then fled the scene.
In his comments on the settler attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the settlers not to take revenge over the deaths of the two settlers and to leave it to the Israeli army to look for the perpetrator.
“Let the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) complete its pursuit and do not take the law into your own hands. Together we will defeat terrorism,” Netanyahu’s statement said.
Meanwhile, in the village of Za’tara, south of Nablus, on Sunday evening, Israeli troops shot and killed Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aqtash (37 years old).
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that Sameh was shot in the abdomen by Israeli troops during an invasion of Za’tara village, in the northern West Bank.
According to local sources, Israeli troops attacked and shot Sameh while he was in his home.
The Israeli troops were accompanied by paramilitary Israeli settler militias, who also attacked Palestinian civilians in the village.
Local sources reported that Sameh Aqtash, who was murdered by Israeli forces Sunday, was in Turkey two weeks ago, volunteering with a rescue team to save lives after the earthquake.
Since the start of the year, at least 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during raids on Palestinian areas in the West Bank, including 11 who were killed Wednesday during a raid on the city of Nablus.