A six-year-old Palestinian boy and his three-year-old brother were wounded on Thursday night after a group of masked Israelis attacked their family’s car outside the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Majd, six, sustained injuries to his face after being hit with a rock, while Jad was cut by broken glass. Their father, Alaa Sawfta, remained relatively unharmed, while their mother’s arm was hurt by another rock thrown at the vehicle.
The family had just left their home in Ramallah and were on their way to visit relatives in the northern West Bank city of Tubas. It was a drive that Sawafta, his wife and children did at the end of every week, and at first everything seemed normal.
“It was around 8.10pm, so it wasn’t late at all,” Sawafta told Middle East Eye. “We were on the highway when two figures on the side of the road started motioning their flashlights at us.”
At first, Sawafta assumed the two people were Israeli police telling him to pull over.
“I couldn’t make out what they looked like because it was dark and there are very few street lights on the road, but who else uses flashlights like that other than police officers?” he asked. “So I started to slow down and pull over.”
That, Sawafta told MEE, was a decision he will regret forever.
“Just two seconds after I came to a stop, dozens of people came out of nowhere from the sides of the road and started attacking the car,” he said.
When he saw their clothes and that some of them were masked, carrying knives, bats, large sticks, and huge rocks, Sawafta realised his family was under attack from a group of Israeli settlers.
“They started throwing large rocks at the car and beating it with sticks and bats and other objects,” Sawafta said. “It was a total pandemonium, the windows were completely shattered, my wife and kids were screaming and crying… the settlers were trying to pull us out of the car and kill us.”
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CUFPa Note: Settlers = Land Thieves