Israeli settler rams vehicle into group of Palestinian children, injures 4

Four Palestinian children were injured with multiple wounds after they were run over by an Israeli settler in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan early Thursday evening.

Local sources said that the settler fled the area after “deliberately” ramming into the children, according to Ma’an News.

An Israeli police spokesperson remarked that the incident was “serious,” but that he was unaware of the attack.

The four children sustained bruises and cuts among other injuries, and were transferred to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

Two of the four children, whose ages remained unknown, were identified as brothers Hamza and Amir Abu Sbeih.

A spokesperson for the Hadassah hospital said they were looking into the cases of the four children.

Incidents involving Israeli settlers hitting Palestinians with their vehicles in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem territory are a relatively regular occurrence, and are usually treated by Israeli security forces as accidents, even in cases when witnesses claim the car rammings were deliberate.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

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 announcements of settlement expansion earlier this year sparking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.

Meanwhile, over the past two years, scores of Palestinians have been detained or killed by Israeli forces for attempting to carry out alleged car ramming or stabbing attacks against Israelis, many cases of which were disputed, or which right groups said did not warrant a violent response.