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Israeli settlers attack 4 Israeli left-wing activists

Aug. 26, 2018 10:52 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2018 11:12 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A group of Israeli settlers on Saturday attacked four Israeli left-wing activists from Ta'ayush NGO near the illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yair, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

According to local sources, about 15 masked Israeli settlers from the illegal Mitzpe Yair settlement attacked four activists as they were taking photos of the area, resulting in throwing stones at them, pushing them, breaking their personal cameras, and stealing their cell phones.

No suspects were detained yet.

Israeli Ynet news outlet reported that the Ta'ayush NGO activists were lightly wounded and transferred to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beer Sheva for necessary treatments.

Israeli forces, who received a complaint from the attacked activists, arrived at the scene immediately and opened an investigation into the matter.

"At some point, as reported by the activists, several masked young men arrived and began throwing stones at them and wounding them," according to an Israeli policeman.

Sources added that Israeli forces said several Ta'ayush activists arrived to the area near Mitzpeh Yair, where allegedly illegal Palestinian construction was taking place, resulting in confiscation of construction equipment.

Following this, clashes broke out among the activists and Israeli settlers.

Israeli forces blamed the activists for their "provocation" of the Israeli settlers and for the attack.

Ynet also reported that Israeli forces, who were at the scene, said in a statement that they declared the area a "closed military zone" in order to prevent further violence, however, the activists refused to leave the premises.

One of the Ta'ayush activists, Pepe Goldman, responded to the Israeli army statement by calling it a "lie" including the alleged declaration of a closed military zone. "The IDF has turned into an army of the settlers. That is what is happening in the West Bank," he added.

The Ta'ayush NGO issued a statement, regarding the attack, on its Facebook page "Jewish terrorists from the Mitzpe Yair settlement attacked four members of our organization by throwing stones and sticks at them."

The statement added "The soldiers present at the scene were scared to intervene. We are afraid to think what would have happened if the activists were Palestinians."

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