By Bassam Abu al-Rub
NABLUS, Monday, January 18, 2021 – Hala Mashhour al-Qat, 11, from Madama village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, sat on her bed at the emergency ward in Rafidya Government Hospital with the effects of the shock and the attack she encountered the day before were still very visible on her face.
Hala, the fifth-grade student, was attacked by a group of Israeli settler thugs when they attacked her family’s home yesterday evening, causing her bruises and cuts in her face when she was attacked with stones as the settlers tried to abduct her. Her screaming and call for help and the quick intervention of her uncle and her mother miraculously prevented her abduction and very likely murder.
Hala was on her way from her house to her uncle’s, which is only a few meters away, in order to study for a school exam in Islamic studies scheduled for the next day, as she told WAFA.
“While I was leaving home, I was surprised by a group of settlers.
One of them started to throw stones at me and I was hit in my face. I couldn’t see anything, and I started screaming and calling on my mother and uncles for help. They came quickly and were able to rescue me from them,” Hala said, still trembling from the horrifying experience.
Hala, sitting on her hospital bed, had difficulty continuing to talk due to the pain in her mouth and teeth, but her health condition was stable, according to the doctors who pointed to cuts and bruises in her nose and mouth.
This was not the first time Israeli settlers attack Madama and surrounding villages, targeting homes with stones, and attacking people, especially in the areas near the illegal settlement of Yitzhar, known to harbor extremist Jewish thugs.
Hala’s father, Mashhour, said that while he was at work at about three o’clock, he received a telephone call from his wife telling him to come home immediately after some 20 settler thugs have attacked their house.
“I did not realize what was happening but my brothers told me that my daughter Hala was injured, and so I immediately went to the hospital where Hala was getting treatment,” he told WAFA, explaining that the settlers have also injured his wife in the foot while she was trying to free their daughter from the settlers and that some window in their house were broken.
“We are living under constant terror,” he said, explaining that his house is about three kilometers away from Yitzhar settlement. “Our homes and property are under constant attack from the settlers.” Ghassan Douglas, how monitors Israeli settlement activities in the north of the West Bank, said that settlers attacked al-Qat family house, located in the southeastern section of the village, with stones and smashed its windows, which led to the injury of their daughter, Hala, wounding her head and face as they tried to kidnap her.
He said that the warnings he made a few weeks ago were translated on the ground. The settlers are trying to kill people in their homes and in their vehicles while they are on the roads. What they have done over the past days proves their intention to commit crimes against the Palestinians, he said.
Douglas added, “On a daily basis, we receive messages from people of being attacked by settlers who are now blocking the streets.” He expressed hope that the tragedy of the Dawabshe family a few years ago will not be repeated when settlers set the Dawabshe home in the same village on fire burning the father, mother and a baby alive, while one child, Ahmad, who suffered burns all over his body, was the only survivor of the deadly arson attack by the settlers.
He warned that the rural areas in the Nablus governorate are witnessing a serious rise in settler attacks and a worrying rise in the number of settler terrorist groups who run freely in the occupied territories, terrorizing the Palestinian civilians and threatening their lives and property while the Israeli army and government are not doing anything to stop them, rather indirectly encourage them.
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