From Khalid Amayreh in el-Sammou, Hebron
Even in his wildest dreams, Midhat Radwan Abu Karsh never
imagined that one day he would be tied up to a power pole
and savagely beaten by bigoted Jewish settlers who believe
that non-Jews are animals in a human shape.
Yet, this is exactly what happened to him earlier this week
when four Jewish terrorists ganged up on the 31-year-old
Palestinian teacher as he was hiking in his land, awaiting
Israeli peace activists whom he wanted to brief on the
daily acts of vandalism, harassment and land theft at the
hands of fanatical Jewish settlers, protected by the army
and backed by powerful political parties.
Abu Karsh accuses the settlers of being hell-bent on
driving Palestinians away in order to take over their land.
“As I was standing in my land, suddenly four settlers
descended from the settlement of Asnael, and started
cursing and beating me with clubs. As you know, I am
physically handicapped and couldn’t escape because of my
leg,” Abu Karsh told reporters on Sunday at his home in the
small town of El-Sammou, 35 kilometers south west of
“Then they dragged me along the thorny terrain, causing me
indescribable pain, until we reached the power pole just
out of the settlement. There they tied me up rather tightly
to the pole and began beating me with the clubs all over my
body, including my head. What kind of people would do this
to a handicapped person who can’t defend himself?
“When they tightened the robe around my neck, I thought I
was going to die.
The attempted lynching and beating continued unabated even
after an Israeli army jeep, carrying three soldiers,
arrived at the scene.
“Initially, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the
soldiers coming. I though they would rescue me instantly
and arrest or at least stop the settlers. However, to my
disappointment, the settlers kept up beating me, causing a
lot of bleeding in my head and face while the soldiers kept
Abu Karsh said the soldiers begged the settlers “to stop
it,” but to no avail.
“Would you believe it, soldiers begging the settlers to
stop beating a handicapped Palestinian? Just imagine how
Jews and non-Jews would react if criminals, say in France,
attacked a Jew who is physically or mentally handicapped,
say in Paris or Leon?”
At one point, the settlers warned the soldiers to keep
away, or else they would attack the soldiers. Israeli
soldiers serving in the occupied West Bank have strict
orders barring them from responding to settler violence in
any active manner.
When the soldiers, who had backed off a few meters, started
calling their superiors to notify them of what was going
on, the settlers carried out a last round of beating,
kicking Abu Karsh in his underbelly and genitals.
He said he nearly fainted.
Forty minutes later, an Israeli police jeep showed up, with
one policeman reportedly telling the settlers to bring a
bucket of water from the settlement and pour it right on
the victim’s head, ostensibly in order to wash away the
blood before the arrival of journalists and photographers.
“Even at this point, I was still tied to the power pole and
the police wouldn’t untie me. And, of course, they didn’t
arrest any of the settlers,” Abu Karsh said.
Eventually, an Israeli ambulance transferred Abu Karsh to a
Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance which took him to the
main hospital in Hebron.
Abu Karsh accused the settlers of deliberately starting a
fire in the area and blaming it on him.
The incident, the second of its kind in less than a month,
was witnessed by Israeli peace activists from the Ta’ayosh
One of the activists was quoted by the Israeli newspaper
Ha’aretz as saying that he saw the settlers kick the victim
while he was bound up.
“When we arrived at the scene there were already lots of
the army’s troops. I saw a settler approach him and kick
him, as he was tied to the pole. His whole body was bound
up, I saw they bandaged a head wound and he was half
Last month, masked, stick-wielding Jewish settler
terrorists attacked with clubs elderly Palestinian peasants
near the West Bank town of Yatta.
The brutal attack was filmed on video by a Palestinian
woman, which embarrassed the Israeli government which
refuses to take any meaningful action against settlers who
attack Palestinian villagers.
The wide dissemination of the video also prompted Jewish
settler leaders in the Hebron region to warn settler
terrorists to make sure that their “anti-Palestinian
activities” are not being filmed or photographed.
B’Tselem provided about 100 cameras to Palestinians who
bear the brunt of settler terror and violence. The project,
dubbed “Shooting Back” is aimed at documenting settler
brutality and attacks.
Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights
organizations operating in the occupied Palestinian
territories have already documented numerous cases of
settler attacks, harassment and vandalism against
However, the Israeli army and Shin Beth (Israel’s domestic
intelligence agency), have consistently refused to rein in
the settlers, thus effectively encouraging them to keep up
their terror against the unprotected Palestinians.
Most of the terrorist settlers attend Talmudic schools, or
Yeshivot, run by extremist rabbis who inculcate their
students with virulent hatred of every thing non-Jewish.
Some rabbis, especially in the Hebron region, openly preach
the view that modern-day Palestinians are the descendants
of the Biblical Amalek or Amaledites, who the Bible says
must be wiped off from the face of earth.
Some rabbis, such as Rabbis for Human Rights, strongly
reject the brutal racism and terror of their right-wing
colleagues, arguing that such practices are immoral and
constitute a serious distortion of Judaism.
However, such views are rejected and treated with utter
contempt by the vast bulk of the Orthodox establishment in