Ramallah, September 11, 2017—Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian 15-year-old in the northern West Bank, near Nablus, on September 6, beating and dragging him before throwing him off a stone fence.
Osama Daghlas, in a sworn testimony to Defense for Children International - Palestine, said he was sitting with his cousin in a northern area of Burqa when a group of more than 10 Israeli settlers approached from Homesh settlement, which borders the area. The group of settlers pursued and assaulted Osama, dragged him naked by his feet, and threw him around two meters (2.2 yards) to the ground.
“Several settlers were running behind me when suddenly I felt something hit the back of my head,” Osama told DCIP. “I regained consciousness intermittently and saw around five settlers dragging me. My clothes were completely torn and I was entirely naked.”
Osama’s cousin, Salah Daghlas, managed to escape. However, several of the settlers caught and pinned Osama to the ground.
“Around four settlers came towards me. One of them put his knee on my face while I was lying on the ground and another put my hands behind my back and sat on me,” Osama said.
He began to fall in and out of consciousness but estimated that the settlers dragged him on his back by his feet for around 500 meters (547 yards) towards Homesh settlement, beating him.
The group then threw him from a stone fence. He regained consciousness to see around 10 settlers standing on the stone fence above him. A settler then threw a sound grenade next to him before the group left Osama lying on the ground.
Hearing a loud sound, a shepherd came to the area and discovered Osama. The teen was treated at Rafidia hospital in Nablus.
The attack on Osama was the most recent in a string of violence incidents carried out by Israeli settlers this year. Settler violence has seen a sharp surge in the first half of 2017, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). After three consecutive years of decline, OCHA reported that Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property has increased by a startling 88 percent from 2016, including seven child injuries.
According to international law, Israel has an obligation to protect the Palestinian population under military occupation. However, DCIP documentation shows that Israeli forces frequently fail to intervene in settler attacks.
“DCIP demands an investigation into the identities of the perpetrators of this attack,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP. “Repeated failure by the Israeli authorities to hold settlers accountable for attacks will continue to result in unchecked violence against Palestinian children.”