One of a group of Israeli settlers who beat a 15-year old Palestinian boy, then tied him to a tractor and dragged him across rocky pavement, has been convicted of kidnap and abuse. The other perpetrator of the crime is still at large. Israeli human rights group Yesh Din brought the case against 28-year old Zvi Struk, son of Orit Struck, the right-wing leader of the Yesha settlement organization. Zvi Struck carried out the attack in 2007, along with at least one other settler who remains at large.
The two men attacked 15-year old Amran Farah on two separate occasions, while the child was out herding his sheep on al-Qasra village land. The first time, Struk hit and threatened the boy and killed one of his sheep. Israeli authorities did nothing, and two months later, Struk and his accomplice attacked again.
According to the indictment, 15-year old Farah, who was again out herding his sheep, raised his hands in surrender when he saw the two settlers approaching on a tractor. Struk and his accomplice began to beat the child, and to fire an M-16 rifle toward Farah and other shepherd boys, who scattered and ran.
Farah told Defence for Children International, “Both of them started hitting and kicking me with their hands and feet and their firearms for about 10 minutes. I was still conscious but I was in a lot of pain. I was screaming and saying “My head!!, My Head!!!” and “Mother!” “Father!” ‘Please come and help me!’”
They then tied the child to the back of the tractor, and dragged him across rocky ground. The boy lost consciousness while being dragged. Eeventually the two perpetrators stopped in an open field, where they stripped the child naked, beat him some more, then tied him up and left him for dead.
According to testimony collected by Defence for Children International, “Amran was blindfolded with the shirt that was ripped from his body, and his hands were bound behind his back with plastic cord. He was dragged into the tractor and taken to another location and beaten further. Amran lost consciousness several times during the assault. He heard the voice of women and children and thought he may have been taken to a settlement. During this second series of beatings he heard one of the settlers ask ‘Shall we shoot him?’”
Several hours later, the boy was able to regain consciousness, and stumbled across the field calling for help. Palestinian farmers who heard his cries took him to Nablus hospital, where he was treated for severe contusions and lesions all over his body.
The Israeli human rights group that filed the case said they were glad that one of the perpetrators was convicted, but emphasized that the other still remains at large, despite the fact that his identity is known. They also pointed out that these types of beatings of Palestinians are common, and rarely result in convictions or even arrests of the settlers and soldiers that carry out the attacks.