Jewish Youths Held, Beaten by Palestinians

YERUSHALAYIM -

A group of Israeli men and boys were held and beaten on Tuesday by Palestinians in a building in the village of Kusra near Shechem.

The captives were released after about two hours when IDF soldiers intervened. But as a witness told Reuters, even then, the villagers beat the 11 Israelis as they forced them to pass one-by-one though a gauntlet of residents who rained blows on them. Some were bleeding from the head and mouth from being hit with sticks and fists.

According to Arutz Sheva, the Israelis were “abducted and beaten in a mob attack in the Binyamin region on Tuesday afternoon. The men were set upon by an Arab mob, chased down, tied up and beaten senseless.”

The Jews involved reportedly ranged in age from 15 to 30.

One of the men said they were attacked as they were walking from the Jewish village of Esh Kodesh to the nearby Givat Hayovel when “they blocked us in with trucks. The Arabs started hurling rocks at the Jewish group.”

The Jews were forced to hide nearby, he continued. “We called the army, because we felt our lives were in danger. The Arabs gathered us into one place, tied our hands and legs, and beat us cruelly,” he said.

When the soldiers arrived, they persuaded local Arab leaders to order the captives let go.

The AFP news agency quoted Palestinian Arab sources as claiming the Jewish men were “Israelis who had sparked clashes” by entering Kusra. The Palestinians accused the Israelis of coming to perpetrate a “price tag” attack on local Arabs.

The Israeli military had no official comment.