Page last updated at 11:15 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 12:15 UK

West Bank 'attackers' arrested


Footage of apparent attack caught by Shooting Back project

Israeli police say they have arrested two Jewish settlers over an apparent assault of Palestinians that was filmed as part of a human rights project.

An adult male and a minor were arrested in Susia settlement overnight and will appear in court on Tuesday.

B'Tselem human rights group has been giving Palestinians video cameras as part of its Shooting Back scheme.

The footage shot on 8 June shows four masked figures walk up to some shepherds and attack them with clubs.

Thamam al-Nawaja returns to her village following the attack
The settlers gave us a 10-minute warning to clear off from the land
Thamam al-Nawaja
An elderly Palestinian and his wife were hospitalised after the incident and their nephew was wounded.

The wife, Thamam al-Nawaja, said the settlers had given them 10 minutes to leave an area where they were grazing their animals; when they refused to move the settlers came and beat them.

The footage, which the BBC was given exclusive access to, was shot by Mrs Nawaja's daughter-in-law, who dropped the camera after the initial blows.


Ms Nawaja's injuries were a fractured cheek bone and a broken arm.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the BBC News website that the arrests were made as a result of enquiries at Susia settlement, near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, and the investigation would continue.

He said police were examining the footage closely. They were inquiring into the whether there had been any "provocation" for the apparent attack and whether all the Palestinians in the footage where indeed shepherds.

Friction between Israeli settlers and local Palestinians frequently erupts into violence.

Human rights groups say the Israeli police and the judiciary often show leniency towards the settlers, who live on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war with support from the Israeli state. The authorities deny such accusations.

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