Two Israeli settlers are accused of “terrorism” by Israel for attacking Palestinians

Two Jewish settlers were accused by an Israeli court on Thursday of “committing an act of terror” for attacking Palestinians in a village in the occupied West Bank earlier this month, according to officials.

A group of settlers attacked a Palestinian family in their car in Huwara, where eight days previously two Israeli settlers had been killed during an upsurge in violence in the Palestinian area, leading to the unusual indictment, which is often reserved for Palestinians.

Following the tragic murders on February 26, scores of Israeli settlers went on the rampage in Huwara, torching homes and vehicles. Bezalel Smotrich, the Israeli finance minister, initially said the town should be “wiped out” but then backtracked.

The two young males were among a group of eight to ten settlers who, on March 6, during the Jewish festival of Purim, drove to a supermarket’s parking lot in Huwara, according to an indictment submitted to Israel’s central district court.

Shoppers raced into the grocery and locked its metal shutters in defence as soon as they saw the settlers emerge from two trucks carrying an axe, hammer, stones, and pepper spray.

One of the Israelis who was charged threw stones at the car and the other used the axe to break its windows while attacking the father as the Palestinian couple and their little daughter stayed inside.

The father sustained injuries to his shoulder and arm, and the other suspect wrecked two other automobiles that were parked nearby while the attackers pepper sprayed the car.

The settlers threw rocks at the family, hitting the father in the head, but they eventually managed to escape.

The two were accused of committing “a serious act of terrorism” and causing “racially motivated” harm that had “an ideological or patriotic objective,” according to the prosecution.

The suspects, who were detained on March 13, are said to be members of “a violent group acting to injure Palestinians and disrupt the efforts of security forces in dealing with Palestinian terror,” according to Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service.

Such nationalistic crimes “threaten” Israel’s security, spark unrest, and disrupt “the daily lives of West Bank people,” according to a statement from Shin Bet.