PA Minister injured by Israeli forces at protest near Ramallah

PA Minister Walid Assaf, chairman of the Commission Against the Wall, was injured by Israeli soldiers on August 30 at a protest in the village of Ras Karkar near Ramallah.

The Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed Assaf was one of five injured during a protest against Israel’s plans to destroy private Palestinian lands in the village.

Two of those injured were immediately transferred to hospital in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

Three protesters were subsequently detained, including a Palestinian photojournalist Bahaa Nasr, from Wafa News Agency.

According to Wafa, Assaf was shot with a rubber-coated metal bullet and sustained ‘light injuries’ to his left ear as he was partaking in the non-violent protest.

The minister called for further protests to confront Israel’s attempts to take over Palestinians’ lands in the village, Wafa also stated.

Israeli forces dispersed protesters with tear-gas and sounds bombs, directly targeting several residents of the village.

Middle East Monitor reported one Ras Karker resident had said, while confronting Israeli soldiers, where is the law? This is not law. This is law for you, but not for me. This is my land.

Protests came after Israeli settlers entered Ras Karkar a few days earlier with bulldozers without warning, and began to raze agricultural lands belonging to residents of the village.

Palestinian anti-settlement activist Ayid Al-Mazloum told Middle East Monitor the targeted land is owned by the Nofal, Fkhida and Samhan families; emphasising the families didn’t receive prior demolition orders from Israel.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported violence by settlers against Palestinians is part of a broader strategy which the state enables and in which it is complicit, benefitting from the end result.

Settler violence against Palestinians � resulting in death, injury and property damage � has long since become part of daily life under occupation in the West Bank, B’Tselem stated. The assaults achieve a lingering sense of threat and deterrence far outlasting the attack itself.

According to UN statistics, the first half of 2018 saw Israeli authorities demolish or seize 197 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem. Comparable with the same monthly average in 2017.

These incidents directly displaced 174 residents and otherwise affected nearly 5,000 people.

The start of 2018 has seen a dramatic increase in settler violence towards Palestinians with 84 incidents reported between January and April. This represents a 50 percent increase from 2017 and 162 percent increase from 2016 as stated by the UN.

Source: Palestine Monitor