They have the police and Israeli military behind them, as this unsettling footage shows:
The Palestinian Authority demanded an impartial investigation into the incident and action from the international community over settler attacks and provocation. "The gravity of the footage lies not only in the settlers' provocations and shooting live ammunition towards unarmed residents, but also in the irresponsibility of the Israeli soldiers who stood watching the events," said a statement from the prime minister's office.
The settlement's spokesman, Avraham Binyamin, was quoted in the Israeli media as saying its security squad came under a hail of stones while trying to extinguish fires lit by Palestinians. "It is clear that use of arms by IDF forces or the security squad was done in a tangible life-endangering situation," he said.
Villagers in Asira say attacks and intimidation by settlers from Yitzhar are routine. Yitzhar has a reputation for being one of the most hardline settlements in the West Bank. Israel's education ministry closed down a state-funded yeshiva (religious school) on the settlement last November after the security agency Shin Bet said it had accumulated evidence that students were engaged in acts of violence against Palestinian villagers.