The Samaria Regional Council plans to sue the left-wing NGO B’Tselem for slander after it alleged that settlers from Yitzhar had set fire to fields near the Palestinian village of Burin.
B’Tselem tweeted a dramatic nighttime photo of the village with the flames burning in the background. In the tweet it stated, “settlers torched Palestinian fields in Burin.” At 8:10 am it also sent a release to the media about it, but within two hours, at 10:07am, it retracted the charges.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said the actual story was precisely the opposite. Palestinians “were the ones that ignited the fire that threatened residents’ homes.” Dagan said the initial tweets had been shared 2,000 times including by the left-wing NGO B’Tselem. The Council and Yitzhar have now asked an attorney to prepare a defamation case against B’Tselem.
“Freedom of expression is a sacred value, but not freedom of expression and defamation,” he added.