On Thursday afternoon, a 31-year old man named Sami, from Ytima village, was attacked and beaten severely by a group of eight Israeli settlers. He was taken to a hospital in Ramallah, where he remains in critical condition with severe injuries to his head, arms, legs and back.Sami said that he had been working in the settlement for three months, but stopped after the Itamar attack in which a family of Israelis was killed last week, for fear of reprisals by the settlers. He said that he had to return to work on Thursday because he had to feed his family, and had been doing construction on the second floor of a house in progress when he heard the voices of the settlers coming up the stairs.

Sami’s ordeal lasted for fifteen minutes, during which he tried to avoid their beating and kicking, but eventually crumpled to the floor where he pretended to be dead. They kept striking him until they thought that he was dead, and then ran away. The Police and ambulance arrived shortly thereafter, and took him to a hospital in Ramallah.

Maher Ghnaim – the minister of state – condemned this attack against Sami, and stated that the event showed that all of the recent attacks by Israeli settlers and Occupation Forces are planned attacks, and not related to the murder in Itamar settlement.

Ghneim blamed the Israeli occupation for everything done by the settlers. He also claimed that the escalation of settler attacks in the last week hasn’t come as a result of the killing of five settlers, including a baby and two small children, in Itamar settlement. He said the escalation has included increasing attacks and invasions by the Israeli military, not just by Israeli settlers living in violation of international law on Palestinian land in the West Bank.