KHIRBET AL MAKHUL: Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats yesterday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.
A reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving it away.
“They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” French diplomat Marion Castaing said.
Locals said Khirbet Al Makhul was home to about 120 people. The army demolished their ramshackle houses, stables and a kindergarten on Monday after Israel’s high court ruled that they did not have proper building permits.
The inhabitants have refused to leave the land, where, they say, their families have lived for generations along with their flocks of sheep.
The Israeli army said that security forces had tried to prevent tents from being erected in area, in accordance with the high court decision.
“At the site, Palestinians and the foreign activists violently objected, throwing stones and striking law enforcement officers,” a military spokeswoman said.