Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank area of Hebron are beating Palestinian’s donkeys without mercy. An armed group from Kiryat Arba, the first settlement in the West Bank imposed on Palestinian lands in eastern Hebron, stole three donkeys last night in what appeared to be a well-laid plan.

Hebron suffers daily under an intense Israeli military occupation, with settlers known for their aggressiveness, under their protection.

The donkeys were tied outside Palestinian homes, and at least one resident was aware of the theft but did not dare open the door of his home, knowing full well based on past occurrences that an Israeli settler’s bullet could easily pierce his heart.

This morning the Palestinians whose donkeys had been stolen went to the settlement’s police station to register the thefts. But as the donkeys were the normal method of transportation for these people as roads are closed to all Palestinian cars and only for settler use, the trip was long.

Israeli police were cold in their response, but the donkeys were returned. However their state was horrific. The donkeys were covered with wounds and bruises, having clearly been intensely beaten. The Palestinians who came to claim them said it looked as if they had undergone interrogation.