Occupied West Bank (QNN)- The Israeli occupation army admitted on Thursday that illegal settlers set West Bank fields on fire last Friday, changing its version after it originally blamed the arson on Palestinians.
The army found itself obliged to admit that illegal settlers set fields close to Palestinians’ houses in the northern occupied West Bank on fire after Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem published on Wednesday a video clip that shows settlers committing their crime.
The video footage shows armed extremist settlers entering grasslands, crouching down and walking away. Moments later, flames can be seen in the area where they’d been standing.
Locals of Burin Urif and Asira al-Qibliya on Friday confronted illegal settlers, who were trying to approach Palestinians’ houses.
Another video taken by locals during the confrontations, shows settlers standing close to a home in a Palestinian village and throwing rocks at nearby houses. Four soldiers can be seen standing among the settlers and doing nothing to stop them.
In a written statement, the Israeli occupation army originally said that together with Border Police troops and civilian volunteers, it had worked to extinguish “a fire set by Palestinians near Asira al-Qibliya” that was “approaching Yitzhar and a military outpost.”
Meanwhile, B’Tselem’s video shows that at least two settlers set fields on fire. Another video shows settlers at Yitzhar fields, lighting fires that quickly spread.
“Soldiers who were standing next to [the settlers] did not arrest them and preventing the Palestinians from reaching their burning lands,” B’Tselem said.
“The army even accused the Palestinians of setting the fires near Asirah al-Qibliyah,” B’Tselem added.