On Sunday afternoon, 1 November 2020, Jihad and Nidaa Jazi (both 47), who have nine children, arrived at their olive grove. The plot, which stretches over a dunam and a half and has 26 mature olive trees, is located to the east of a-Sawiyah village, between Road 60 and the Eli settlement’s security barrier.
A security fence was built around the Eli settlement, established in 1984, about 700 meters from the plot. The Israeli military has never required the family to coordinate visits to their land.
At around 3:00 P.M., while Jihad and Nidaa were picking their olives, some five settlers suddenly appeared, one bearing a wooden club, and started throwing stones at the couple. Jihad called out to Nidaa to run away and took a moment to pick up the sack they had only managed to fill halfway. He grabbed the sack and started running, but stumbled on some stones and fell, severely injuring his head and hands, and blacked out. When the settlers saw him fall, they drew back towards Eli. Nidaa heard her husband cry out and came back to help him.
Nidaa Jazi splashed water over her husband's face and when he came to, helped him to their car, which was parked about 600 meters away. Jihad Jazi’s hands were severely damaged and he barely managed to drive home, pressing on the pedals while his wife steered the car. When they got home, family members took him to a hospital in Salfit. After he was examined and X-rayed, he was transferred to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where the doctors treated his head wound and operated on his hands due to the severity of the fractures.
In a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb'i, Jihad Jazi recounted being injured as he and his wife fled from the settlers:
We were working, at around 3:00 P.M., when stones suddenly landed near us. I looked behind me and saw about four or five young settlers, about 18 to 20 years old, throwing stones at us. One of them also had a wooden club.
I yelled to my wife to run away. I picked up the sack of the olives we'd managed to pick, which was half full, and saw the setter with the club running towards me. As soon as I started running, I came across a stone wall and had no choice but to jump over it. I jumped and fell with my hands stretched out in front of me, to protect my body. I felt a sharp pain pierce my head and passed out.
When I woke up, my wife was splashing water on my face. I tried to get up but couldn't. I looked at my hands and immediately realized I’d broken them. The bone was showing under the skin. My face was bleeding, too. I tried to put my hands to my face to wipe off the blood, but I couldn't. My head was aching badly. I looked towards the settlement and saw the settlers heading in that direction.
In a testimony she gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb'i, Nidaa Jazi described her husband's injury and its repercussions:
I started running quickly and thought my husband was running behind me. Suddenly, I heard him yelling and calling out for me. I looked back and saw him lying on the ground. I ran over, shaking with fear. He was about 30 meters away. When I reached him, I saw he was lying on the ground with his face covered in blood. I started screaming and crying. I didn't know what to do. We were far from the village and I felt helpless. My husband was unconscious. I splashed water from a bottle on his face and he woke up.
His hands were wrecked. The bones were sticking out in both of them. All I cared about was getting him away from there, before the settlers decided to come back to us. I helped my husband stand up, but when we got to the car there was a problem – his hands were broken, and I don't know how to drive. Our phones weren't working, so we couldn't call for help.
My husband sat behind the wheel and I sat next to him. He pushed the gas and brakes while I took the steering wheel. I look at him and saw he was in severe pain because of his hands. I held the wheel and cried. I had no way to relieve his pain. He's my husband and soulmate, the father of my children, the only breadwinner of our family, and he's all we've got.
Miraculously, we managed to drive home. Our children came outside to meet us and when they saw their father, they all started crying, even my older boys. They couldn't bear to see him like that. I called my husband's brothers and they drove us to hospital, where it turned out my husband needed surgery on his hands, to set his bones with screws and platinum plates.
I'm afraid my husband won't be able to go back to work the way he used to, because of the severe damage to his hands. I had a car accident and to this day can’t run or walk like I used to.
Even though my husband wasn’t hit by a stone, he was injured by the settlers’ attack. We had no choice but to run. Even if we'd tried to protect ourselves by throwing stones back at them, we'd be blamed for it. We never thought something like this could happen on our land. We go to the plot several times a year during the plowing, pruning, and harvest seasons, and nothing like this has ever happened to us.
The Eli settlement was founded in the year 1984, some 700 meters from the houses of a-Sawiyah.