The Israeli prosecution decided to drop all charges against a settler-soldier who shot and wounded a Palestinian man and a child in Wadi Hilwa area, in Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, and claimed that there is insufficient evidence against the soldier who used weapon against unarmed civilians.The settler-soldier used his M-16 automatic rifle and shot Ahmad Qara’een, 40, member of the Wadi Hilwa Information Center, and Amir Farroukh, 13, while riding his bicycle.

Qara’een was shot by two live rounds in his left and right legs. He said that the court ignored testimonies of eyewitnesses and pictures taken by the residents, incriminating the soldier and decided to drop all charges.

He added that several youths of Wadi Hilwa are still under house arrest.
The incident took place as the Wadi Hilwa residents protested against repeated attacks carried out by armed settlers against them and their homes. Charges were never brought against the settlers.

Qara’een stated that the court tried to accuse him of attempting to snatch the weapon of one of the soldiers, and interrogated his 10 and 11 year-old sons.

He added that a the soldier who shot Farroukh initially attacked him while on his bicycle and also attacked his brother.

Ramadan Al Banna of the Wadi Hilwa Information Center said that the police decided to punish the victims instead of persecuting the assailants.

In related news a group of armed settlers surrounded a home that belongs to Taweel family, in Wadi Hilwa, and claimed that “the home belongs to King David”, and demanded all Palestinian residents to leave the area as it is “a Jewish only area”.

The settlers said that they are trained by the Givati Brigade of the Israeli army, and that they will not hesitate to use their “military skills and military-issued weapons”.

But dozens of residents gathered around the settlers and pushed them out of the neighborhood; the settlers vowed to return in larger numbers.