Yesterday, during the early evening, several Palestinian youth were riding bikes near checkpoint 56 in the Tel Rumeida area of Al-Khalil (Hebron). At around 7pm, one youth, 17-year-old Izz Adel Bedo, from the Jabal Al-Takruri area of Hebron was knocked off his bike and run over by a settler driving a bus on the way to the illegal settlement of Tel Rumeida.
22nd May 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
Paramedics arrived within about five minutes, leaving their ambulance parked outside the checkpoint whilst they came inside to attend to the youth. By this time, approximately 15-20 Israeli soldiers and border police had arrived on the scene and were preventing local Palestinians from filming and photographing the incident, and the bus that had run over the youth had driven away from the scene.
The youth had sustained injuries to his arm and leg, and possibly also to his neck, medics placed him in a neck brace as a precaution before attempting to move him. He was taken through the checkpoint to the awaiting ambulance and was taken away to Al-Ahli Hospital for treatment.
At around the same time that the ambulance was leaving, a group of Israeli soldiers entered through the checkpoint into the H1 (Palestinian Authority controlled) area of Hebron and threw a stun grenade in the general direction of the ambulance and some Palestinian youth who had gathered. The youths then started to throw stones in the direction of the checkpoint. Israeli soldiers then launched tear gas canisters and more stun grenades.
Back on the H2 (Israeli military controlled) side of the checkpoint, approximately five or six settlers, some of them armed, were extremely aggressive in their behaviour. One armed settler assaulted a Palestinian man who was coming through the checkpoint into H2. He then argued with the soldiers, apparently demanding that they take some sort of action against the Palestinians who had gathered. He spent a further 10 minutes doing this and generally attempting to provoke a further incident.
Other settlers, including the hardline settlement leader Baruch Marzel, were verbally abusing the Palestinians and international observers present. After a further 30 minutes, the settlers left in their cars and the soldiers also dispersed. Neither the Israeli soldiers nor border police made any attempt to locate and/or talk to the driver of the vehicle.
Settlers have used their vehicles as weapons against Palestinians many times before, as has been reported previously.