Settlers Attempt to Kidnap Children Near Hebron, Bethlehem
Several armed Israel settlers have attempted to kidnap a Palestinian child, after chasing him for more than a kilometer along a road near Hebron. A similar report has surfaced in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. Al-Haq human rights organization has issued a statement, via press release, regarding the nature of the recent settler attacks as they relate to illegal Israeli settlement policies.
According to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency, Coordinator of the Anti-wall and Settlement Popular Committee, Ratib Jabour, said that armed settlers chased Hani Al-Ka‘abna, 14, in a car along a rugged road in Al-Ka‘abna, to the east of Yatta, in an attempt to kidnap him.
The boy, fortunately, managed to escape.
Near Bethlehem, a number of settlers driving an Israeli vehicle into Beit Sahour attempted to kidnap a Palestinian child.
The attempted abduction took place near the YMCA Center, in Beit Sahour.
The boy has been identified as one Ramadan Rayya, 17 years of age.
Al-Haq human rights organization stated on Monday, as well, that Israel’s illegal settlement policy is the main cause of the hostile environment that puts civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, at risk.
WAFA has given the details of the official press release:
On the morning of Wednesday 2 July 2014, 16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir was abducted from a street near his home in Shu’fat in occupied East Jerusalem. His charred body was later found in the village of Deir Yassin, Jerusalem.
This incident follows the finding of the bodies of three young Israeli settlers on 30 June 2014 and subsequent calls for revenge against Palestinians. Since 12 June the Israeli government has initiated a campaign of collective punishment, including mass arrests, movement restrictions, and punitive house demolitions.
During this period seven Palestinians have also been killed by live fire in the West Bank by Israeli forces. Al-Haq condemns any loss of civilian life and calls for accountability irrespective of the perpetrators involved.
Al-Haq is extremely concerned that the Palestinian civilian population will face increased attacks by Israeli settlers who illegally reside in occupied territory and enjoy institutionalized impunity. As an occupying power Israel has a responsibility under IHL and IHRL to ensure protection of the Palestinian civilian population under its control.
The illegal Israeli settlement policy of transferring Israeli civilians into occupied territory is directly responsible for creating a hostile environment that puts civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, in harm’s way. The events of the preceding weeks provide a glimpse into a bleak future with continued settlement expansion.
The international community must act to end a settlement policy that violates international law in order to prevent a further deterioration of the situation on the ground and protect civilian life.
According to B’Tselem, over 300,000 Israelis currently live in more than 200 settlements and settlement outposts throughout the West Bank — all established in contravention of international law, some even in contravention of Israeli law.