NABLUS (Ma’an) — Following a deadly shooting carried out by an Israeli settler near the Huwwara village in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, an Israeli settler distributed candy to passing Israeli vehicles south of Nablus on Thursday in celebration of the settler killing a 23-year-old Palestinian earlier in the day.
An Israeli settler killed Muataz Hussein Hilal Bani Shamsa and injured Palestinian journalist Majdi Eshtayya after exiting his car and indiscriminately shooting live ammunition on a crowd of Palestinians during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces following a march held in solidarity with a mass Palestinian hunger strike currently on its 32nd day in Israeli prisons.
In the video, the Israeli settler, who also appears to be protected by Israeli army forces, was distributing candy to Israeli settlers in celebration of the killing. He can also be seen sarcastically offering the candy to Palestinians standing near the road, while verbally provoking them.
“You wanted to support Marwan Barghouthi,” the settler said, referring to the imprisoned Fatah leader who is leading some 1,300 Palestinians on the hunger strike. “And we killed a Palestinian vandal today. I am distributing candy to celebrate the killing. I want to congratulate the Israeli people for the vandal’s death.”
An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports of the incident.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.
Located adjacent to the village of Huwwara, where the shooting and incident shown in the video took place, is the illegal Yitzhar settlement, which is known to house a group of notoriously violent extremist settlers, who regularly attack Palestinian civilians in the area.
Over the past month, several attacks
have been carried out in villages near to the Yitzhar settlement. Palestinians living in villages around Yitzhar have long been vulnerable to Israeli settlers stealing crops, damaging and burning trees and other plants, and attacking places of worship in the area, in an attempt to intimidate Palestinian villagers and farmers from using their land.
Meanwhile, many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers who committ such attacks against Palestinians, often under the protection of armed Israeli soldiers.