After an attempted lynching of a group of young Jewish hikers in the Shomron ended in the death of a Palestinian by a security escort who shot him in self-defense, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Thursday night for “immediate international protection” — for Palestinians.
Abbas’ version of the incident was completely at odds with eyewitness accounts, which described how the group of young hikers came under unprovoked attack by a mob of Palestinians.
A statement from Abbas’s office claimed the shooting was “conclusive proof for the whole world of the level of the ugliness of crimes carried out by settlers against the innocent Palestinian people.”
The Israeli army said the shooter, one of two armed escorts, was defending the hikers, a group of about twenty 13-year-old boys, when Palestinians began throwing stones at them.
One of the parents escorting the group said they opened fire out of self-defense. “Our lives were in danger, as [the Palestinians] threw rocks and boulders at us,” he said.
One of the Israeli escorts suffered a light head wound during the incident. Another sustained an injury to an arm, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. They were both taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
One of the boys who took part in the hike later recounted the harrowing experience to Arutz Sheva.
While they were trapped in a cave awaiting rescue by IDF soldiers, the Palestinians repeatedly threatened their lives:
“They threatened us with the gun [they had snatched from one of the guards] and demanded that we give them our cell phones. Then they threw a stone at the guard, hitting him in the head. He was injured and there was so much blood. They started to scream at us, saying that they were going to slaughter us.
“They threw rocks at us and sprayed pepper spray on us…They [the terrorists] told us that anyone over the age of 18 would be slaughtered, and that the children would be taken prisoner. The children were all crying and reciting ‘Shema Yisrael.’
“After an hour-and-a-half, the soldiers arrived. We thought the guard had been killed, and that the [Arabs] were going to murder us.”