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Right-wing politicians claim Jewish settlers were acting in self-defense, not trespassing on Palestinian land

Knesset member defends former speaker after arrest and international condemnations

Elisha Yered, suspected of being involved in the death of 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan in the West Bank village of Burqa last night, arrives for a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, Aug. 5, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Knesset Member Limor Son Har-Melech of the Jewish Power party defended her former speaker Elisha Yered on Sunday after he was arrested as a suspect in the death of a Palestinian during a confrontation on Friday.

Yered was arrested together with another man on Saturday, with five more being detained, after a Palestinian man was shot and killed during a violent confrontation between Jewish settlers and Palestinian villagers in Judea and Samaria on Friday.

Son Har-Melech disputed the claim by the Palestinian Authority that the settlers attempted to let their sheep feed on land belonging to the village of Burqa, as reported by the Israel Defense Forces.

"This is clearly defined national land. The attempt to tell another story, there are people who believe this false narrative. [It's] an upside down world, a strange situation," Son Har-Melech said.

"The statement published by the IDF spokesman is based on Palestinian accounts, as if someone is buying their false narrative again and again, in a distorted and biased way," she continued.

"In this event, a lynching takes place, no less than that, inside Area C. Two hundred terrorists arrive, surround the people, help does not come, and they shoot in the air. Stones, rocks, fireworks. No one knows that there was a seriously injured person, a head injury."

An IDF statement mentioned that its soldiers arrived too late to prevent the clash and that an undisclosed number of settlers had been injured, without giving details about their condition.

The Binyamin Regional Council reported that the injured settler was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he was operated on for a head injury and remains in intensive care. It added that, despite his injury, he has since been arrested on charges of killing a Palestinian rioter.

An unconfirmed photo circulating on social media showed one of the injured settlers with a deep gash on his forehead, purportedly from stones thrown by Palestinians.

Israeli National Security Minister and Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben Gvir praised the actions of the settlers and said he expects the police to bring the stone-throwing "rioters" to justice, according to Israeli news outlet Maariv.

"My policy is clear. Whoever defends himself from stone-throwing deserves a medal," Ben Gvir said.

Journalist and former Knesset Member Yinon Magal, best known for Israel's Channel14 program, "The Patriots," (Hapatriotim) , also disputed media reports claiming that the confrontation happened in or near the village of Burqa.

"Even the videos published by the Palestinians about the deadly incident in Burqa show that contrary to what was said in the Israeli press (that adopted the Arab narrative), it didn't happen in the village but in the open area used for grazing," Magal wrote on Twitter.

Ynet news reported on Sunday that Ronen Bar, head of Israel's Security Agency (ISA), known as Shin Bet, presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an assessment of the situation in Judea and Samaria last week, warning that Jewish terrorism incites Palestinian terrorism and will lead to revenge attacks.

Meanwhile, international representatives have strongly condemned the killing of the Palestinian man. 

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said, "I strongly condemn the deplorable acts of settler violence against Palestinians in the village of Burqa in the occupied West Bank."

The U.S. State Department also released a statement: "We strongly condemn yesterday's terror attack by Israeli extremist settlers that killed a 19-year-old Palestinian. The US extends our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.  We note Israeli officials have made several arrests and we urge full accountability and justice.”

In his condemnation, German Ambassador to Israel Steffen Seibert mentioned both the death of the Palestinian and the murder of the security guard in Tel Aviv, calling it a "weekend of violence."

"My thoughts are with the family of the officer killed by a Palestinian terrorist in the middle of Tel Aviv. Also saddened by yesterday's killing of a young Palestinian in the West Bank, allegedly by settlers. The truth must be investigated," he posted on Twitter.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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