Israeli settlers 'kidnap' child near Yatta for several hours
Published Sunday 11/05/2014 (updated) 12/05/2014 00:33
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers from Havot Maon "kidnapped" a Palestinian child south of Hebron on Saturday evening, a local activist group reported, before releasing him a few hours later.
Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements south of Hebron Rateb al-Jubour said in a statement that settlers took 6-year-old Mosab Kamel Mousa Robai from the village of Tuwani east of Yatta.
He said that the settlers released the boy after a few hours and left him in the forest located adjacent to the settlement of Havot Maon, which is located adjacent to the village.
Al-Jubour added that the child was in "difficult" and deteriorating health conditions when he was released and was unable to speak.
He was subsequently transferred to Abu al-Hasan al-Qasim Hospital in Yatta for treatment.
Havot Maon is home to around 200 Jewish settlers and is considered one of the most violent and radical outposts in the West Bank.
On April 24, settlers from Havot Maon attacked a mother and her four children with rocks while they were walking on one of the few roads in the area where locals do not require army protection to travel, injuring a seven-year-old.
Children in nearby villages require Israeli military escorts to walk to school, and on April 9, settlers attacked a group of schoolchildren as they were walking while Israeli soldiers watched from a nearby vehicle.
In mid-December, Operation Dove said it had documented 13 incidents of property damage by settlers, 13 violent attacks against Palestinians and 17 cases of intimidation against Palestinians and international observers so far in 2013.
Around 3,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal Jewish-only settlements in the Yatta region, according to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.
The South Hebron Hills, known locally as Masafer Yatta, lie almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Less than 1 percent of Area C has been planned for Palestinian development, while some 135 settlements and over 100 outposts have been built in the same area.