Settlers attack EAs with stones in Jerusalem
Hardline Israeli settler youths assaulted three female Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) in Jerusalem on Monday, hurling rocks and bottles in an unprovoked attack.
An EA in her sixties was bruised on the arm when one of the young men threw a fist-sized rock at her. The group of around eight young men approached the women, shouting obscenities and making rude gestures before attacking. The EAs filmed the incident and it can be viewed on Youtube here.
The women had been visiting a Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood, a focal point of the Israeli authorities’ drive to “unify” the city as a Jewish capital.
As the EAs were off walking down the street, the group of young men approached them from behind, shouting, giving obscene gestures and throwing empty plastic bottles.
“We kept moving realising that this situation had the potential to escalate and become dangerous. They continued moving toward us with increasing aggression,” reported the EAs.
The settlers shouted “Go back to German,” (sic) and “This is Jewish” before at least one of them threw a rock, hitting an EA on the arm and bruising it. One of them raised his fist in the face of an EA but apparently decided not to hit her. Following scuffles between settlers and local Palestinians, Israeli police arrived, but they took no details from the international who had been injured.
“The settlers immediately surrounded the police, giving their side of the story. We were actively trying to talk to the police but continually waved away,” reported the EAs.
They did manage to talk to the police for around one minute, but the police did not ask any of the EAs for specific details of the incident. A Palestinian was arrested, but police took no action against the settlers who started the confrontation.
Up to 28 large Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah face eviction to make way for illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli and international peace campaigners including EAs have maintained a constant presence here since last summer’s wave of evictions. Settlers frequently and physically attack local Palestinians and try to scare internationals away, for example by aggressive taunts and throwing firecrackers at visiting groups.
The injured EA eventually filed a complaint at a police station and briefly visited hospital.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, four of the settlers in the Youtube clip were banned for a month from Sheikh Jarrah. the Israeli courts gave two more families in Sheikh Jarrah a month’s notice to leave their houses. This would bring the number of evicted families to five, including dozens of individuals, many of them children.