JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – A mob of Israeli settlers assaulted an elderly Palestinian man from the Silwan neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem Saturday evening.
Ahmad Mahmoud al-Qaq said his father, 63, was in Harat al-Sharaf square in the Old City walking home, when four settlers obstructed his way and started to punch him in the face. He sustained bruises in his face.
The attackers stopped beating al-Qaq and fled the scene after they saw a group of Palestinians, the son added. He said his father was taken to a medical center in Silwan to treat bruises sustained on his face and possible eye injury.
Settlers routinely carry out acts of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, but are rarely held accountable. In 2014, there were at least 329 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN.
Over 200,000 settlers live in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, as well as some 306,000 Palestinians, according to Jerusalem’s municipality.
Al-Qaq’s neighborhood of Silwan is witness to ongoing tensions due to increasing numbers of settlers, many of which move to the area with the assistance of organizations that facilitate the purchase and takeover of Palestinian homes in the Old City and occupied East Jerusalem in effort to “Judaize Jerusalem.”
Settlers Al-Qaq’s neighborhood often receive the protection of private security guards contracted by the state.
East Jerusalem is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory, but Israel occupied it in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never considered legitimate abroad.