Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Witness: Settlers abduct 4 at gunpoint, later released

Maan News Agency

Published today (updated) 18/07/2012 12:44
TULKAREM (Ma’an) -- A group of Israeli settlers abducted four Palestinians at gunpoint in the northern West Bank on Tuesday evening, before later releasing them, witnesses said.

The group, who work for an advertising company in Ramallah, were stopped outside the evacuated Israeli outpost Homesh near Nablus by an Israeli-plated car, and a group of settlers ordered them at gunpoint to walk to a neighboring hill.

Noman Jalali, 32, from nearby Anabta town, said they were forced to walk behind the vehicle while surrounded by dozens of settlers, two of whom carried small weapons and another carrying a machine gun.

Jalali said they were beaten and verbally abused by the group while they held them for over an hour.

"One of them asked in Hebrew for another man to shoot us but he replied that we had children and they began laughing," Jalali said.

Their cellphones and money were seized by the abductors, he said.

Homesh outpost was evacuated in 2005, but settlers and Israeli politicians are campaigning to rebuild on the area, which remains under Israeli control.