Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan at the protest tent outside of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Feb. 4, 2020.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, sent a scathing letter to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland after he falsely accused the “settlers” of nefarious actions without examining them, thus “encouraging anti-Semitism.”

In his letter, Dagan demanded that Wennesland withdraw unilateral accusations he made at the UN against Israelis living in Samaria during his briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East at the end of August.

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Wennesland claimed that on August 17, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was attacked in Samaria, during which “a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped the boy, tied him to a tree, and brutally assaulted, cut and burned him. The boy, who lost consciousness, was eventually handed over to a Palestinian ambulance.”

“I am deeply concerned by this heinous act and I expect the Israeli authorities to undertake a swift, thorough and transparent investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable,” he demanded.

Dagan’s investigation with the IDF and police revealed that the reported incident was fabricated, and it was the Palestinian who is suspected of throwing rocks at Israelis.

“As head of the local council in which the incident took place, I immediately checked your allegations as soon as they reached me, even though you did not contact my office before rushing to the Security Council.” Dagan wrote in his letter.

“An investigation I conducted with the security forces revealed that the Israeli police and the IDF had already investigated the incident, a fact that did not seem appropriate to report to the Security Council in your speech,” Dagan wrote. “In response to my request, it became clear from their conclusion about the incident that the adolescent in question was himself part of a group that used violence against the Israelis by throwing stones.”

Dagan then expanded on the violent attack. “The terrorist you call a boy tried to murder Jews in cold blood just because they are religious Jews studying Torah. Also, the Israeli authorities found no evidence that the adolescent who was a member of the stone-throwing gang was ‘kidnapped’ or ‘attacked.’”

“A medical report on the incident did not state evidence that the minor was ‘burned’ by anyone. The examination clearly shows that his injury was caused by trying to escape when the Israelis under attack tried to capture him to hand him over to the security forces,” Dagan explained.

Wennesland’s report, according to Dagan, encourages anti-Semitic violence against Jews. “I hope you are aware that allegations of Jewish and Israeli violence, even when untrue, tend to encourage anti-Semitic violence against Jews.”

Furthermore, “anti-Semitic phrasing is reflected in the use you make of the term ‘heinous’ in your speech when you describe alleged violence perpetrated by Jews, unprovoked violence. But on the other hand, you do not express yourself in this way about documented and proven murders committed against Jews,” Dagan lashed out.

“I expect you and all those involved in the UN Security Council to promptly amend the report, and to ensure that your reports are credible and not tainted with anti-Semitism as you did in this case.” Dagan wrote in conclusion.

An IDF Spokesman confirmed that a report had been received of rocks being thrown at Israelis on August 17 and that the Palestinian boy had been identified as part of the group suspected of perpetrating the attack.

“After receiving the report, IDF soldiers arrived at the scene and identified an Israeli chase after a Palestinian boy. The force commander handled the incident and transferred the Palestinian boy to his family,” the IDF stated.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.