Palestine: Israeli settlers assault farmers in Beit Ummar, al-Asakreh

23rd Feb 2014


By Chris Carlson
International Middle East Media Center: Israeli settlers, on Saturday, attacked a farmer and his sons in the southern West Bank, near Beit Ummar, a popular committee spokesman said.

According to Ma’an News Agency, Muhammad Ayad Awad, spokesman for the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Ummar, said that around 15 Israeli settlers attacked Muhammad Abd al-Hamid Jaber al-Salibi and his sons, in the Wad Abu Rish area, near the Israeli settlement of Bat Ayin, while they were working on their land.
The settlers hurled rocks, but no were casualties reported, Awad said.
He added that Israeli forces came to the scene and forced the farmer and his sons to leave the area at gunpoint.
An Israeli army spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.
In related news, the Palestinian News Network reports that settlers, on Friday, protected by Israeli forces, attacked farmers from al-Asakreh village, east of Bethlehem, preventing them from cultivating their lands.
The head of Tkou’ municipality, Tayseer Abu Mufreh, told WAFA that a number of settlers attacked and assaulted farmers while they were cultivating their lands in al-Ghuzlan area, adjacent to Tqou’ settlement. The settlers also prevented them from continuing to plant olive seedlings in their lands.
He added that the settlers uprooted some of the seedlings that were planted, and that Israeli soldiers forced the land owners to leave, declaring it a closed military area.
Abu Mufreh said that settlers assaulted, a few days ago, a number of farmers in the same area and prevented them from cultivating their land.
Furthermore, Ma’an reports that, in 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Over 90 percent of investigations into settler violence by Israeli police do not lead to an indictment.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.


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