Turmusaya, Ramallah District: Settler car runs over and kills eight sheep, injures 12
The Abu Na’im family, 13 members in total, lives in the village of al-Mughayir in Ramallah District. Every April, the family relocates with its flock to rented pastureland about two kilometers east of Turmusaya. During that time, the flock feeds on grain and straw left on the ground after the harvest season. At the start of winter, they return to the village.
On the evening of 6 August 2020, Ayham Abu Na’im (29), a father of three, was grazing 200 of his family’s sheep about a kilometer and a half west of the outpost of Adei Ad. At around 7:00 P.M., he noticed a fire raging in the fields near the settlers’ trailer homes, about 500 meters east of his location, and quickly drove the flock back towards his family’s pastureland.
When Abu Na’im was about 150 meters from his home, he saw two cars coming from Adei Ad: a car without a license plate, followed by the outpost’s security vehicle. The cars sped towards him and ran over about 20 of the sheep, killing eight and injuring 12 to various degrees. The incident caused seven pregnant ewes to miscarry.
Abu Na’im’s brother and father, as well as a friend of his father’s, noticed the attack and started running towards him. The settlers turned around and drove back towards the outpost. Abu Na’im and his family carried the dead and injured sheep away.
Dozens of area residents who had heard the shouting came to help remove the sheep, but soldiers arrived and dispersed them using tear gas and stun grenades. The residents returned home about half an hour later.
Abu Na’im called the Israeli DCO and notified them of the incident, but no one has contacted him as yet.
In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad, Abu Na’im described the car-ramming attack:
While I was out grazing the flock, I saw a fire burning near a new settler ranch with about three trailer homes. I was afraid I’d be suspected of starting the fire, so I quickly drove the flock back to our pen. When I was about 150 meters away from home, I saw two cars speeding from the direction of Adei Ad. At first, I thought they were going towards the fire, but instead they came towards me. I started getting scared and tried to get away. I climbed on my donkey and started speeding up the flock. After I’d gone about 70 to 100 meters, they reached me and I saw four masked settlers inside the first car. Three of them had their upper bodies sticking out the windows. The two in the backseat were holding clubs, and another in the passenger seat had a gun. The second car was the settlement security vehicle. The driver was “Meir”, an extremist settler who is known for his aggression in the area. The first car started running over the sheep and lambs, chasing them and ramming mercilessly into their bodies, heads and feet. They kept hitting them again and again.
The settlement guard drove behind them for 20 or 30 meters and stopped. The first car kept running over the sheep while I yelled and pleaded with them to stop. I screamed: “Shame on you, what have they done to you?? Enough! What are you doing? You have no mercy”. My calls fell on deaf ears. It seemed like they enjoyed killing the sheep.
About two minutes later, the settlers saw my father, brother and another friend coming towards us, and then they turned around and took off towards Adei Ad.
We started examining the sheep and taking them away. Four sheep were killed on the spot and four others were dying and passed away the next day. We took them away and treated the 12 injured sheep who had bruises or fractures. Seven ewes miscarried. A few days later, we saw that the condition of the injured sheep was deteriorating, so we called a vet.
The incident made us feel even more anxious than usual, since the area has become dangerous for us. We’ve been coming here for 20 years. The settlers have taken over most of the land in our area and prevent us from grazing there. We don’t have much choice.
I managed to get the number of an Israeli DCO officer and called him about an hour later. He promised me he’d come by to help me file a complaint, but he still hasn’t shown up. This is another proof that there’s no one to turn to. All we have left is to complain to Allah about our problems.