17-year-old settler charged with assaulting Rabbis for Human Rights leader

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Israeli prosecutors indicted a 17-year-old settler of assaulting Rabbi Arik Ascherman, founder of the Rabbis for Human Rights group, which advocates for the rights of Palestinians.

The indictment submitted Friday alleges the youth, whose name was not reported to media because of his age, hurling rocks and beating Ascherman, as well as threatening him with a knife. According to Army Radio, he is a resident of the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

The defendant is charged with aggravated assault and “causing bodily harm with intent.” Ascherman sustained minor injuries from the assault, according to nrg.co.il. Reports about the indictment did not specify how the defendant pleaded with regard to the charges.

The assault occurred on Oct. 23 in the town of Awarta, located a mile east of Itamar. Ascherman was there as part of a group of Israeli and international activists attending an olive harvest at a Palestinian farm.


video of the incident shows the masked man shouting at Ascherman and then throwing punches at him. The man, who later runs off up hill, lunges at Ascherman with the knife but does not stab him.

The defendant was arrested earlier this week. A search of his home turned up 44 bullets.

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