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Physical assault
The flock in Yanun. Photo by Shadi Abu Hamad
The flock in Yanun. Photo by Shadi Abu Hamad

Yanun, Nablus District: Settlers stone shepherd and his flock

On 17 November 2021, several settlers stoned a shepherd grazing his flock on village land. The settler fled, leaving his flock behind, and villagers reported the assault to the Palestinian DCO. About half an hour later, several soldiers and a settlement security guard came to the scene. The shepherd then gathered the scattered sheep, with the help of other residents, and discovered that several had been injured by stones.  

Caption: Soldiers detain Burhan Bsharat. Photo courtesy of the witness
Caption: Soldiers detain Burhan Bsharat. Photo courtesy of the witness

Khallet Makhul, Jordan Valley: Settlers attack shepherd and drive his flock away twice; soldiers training in the area detain him

On 4 October 2021, at around 8:00 A.M., three settlers arrived on an ATV at an area east of the community of Khallet Makhul in the northern Jordan Valley. The settlers, who had a drone with them, tried to drive away a flock of sheep that community resident Burhan Bsharat (45) was grazing there, accompanied by several Israeli activists. When Bsharat approached the ATV to try and prevent the settlers from hitting the sheep, one of them pepper-sprayed him in the face. Basharat was forced to go home with the flock.   

The next day, 5 October 2021, Bsharat set out to graze his flock in the same area, accompanied by Israeli activists. Upon arrival, they found a settler at the scene who began shouting at the sheep and pushing them in an attempt to drive them away. Bsharat tried to move several hundred meters away from the settler, but then encountered military forces training in the area. The soldiers detained him and the activists for half an hour, during which Israeli police officers and the guard of the settlement of Hemdat arrived. After an argument, the officers arrested one of the activists. Bsharat was forced once again to take the hungry sheep home without grazing them.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher ‘Aref Daraghmeh that day, Bsharat described the mental and financial toll of the settlers’ violence and the military’s conduct:  

I had no choice but to take my sheep back early to their pens, because I was afraid of being attacked. That means I now have to buy them fodder.  

We suffer constantly from the military and the settlers here. The military claims it’s a closed military zone, but allows the settlers to graze their flocks here. I have no other place to graze mine. Khallet Makhul is now surrounded by settlements and military bases. We have only two square kilometers left and our lives have become miserable.  

Because they’re preventing me from grazing the sheep, I’ll have to buy fodder to feed them. I have a large family that I have to support and meanwhile, I’m just accumulating debts.  

The military helps the settlers and protects them. I think about tomorrow – what will I do, where will I go, and what will happen in the grazing area that day? I live under a lot of stress. I’m always afraid they’ll hurt the flock or me. Today, they sprayed me with pepper spray, but they might do something more serious tomorrow. 

Mu’tasem Mashani after his injury. Photo courtesy of witnesses to the incident
Mu’tasem Mashani after his injury. Photo courtesy of witnesses to the incident

A-Shuyukh, Hebron District: Settlers stone harvesters and two surveyors and expel them with help of Border Police sent to protect the Palestinians

On 17 November 2021, at around 8:30 A.M., two employees of a surveying company, Mu’tasem Mashani (27) and Mujahed Shalaldeh (26), arrived at village land to take measurements for the local council. The work was coordinated with the Civil Administration, and two Border Police officers accompanied the surveyors. That day, farmers from the village came to the area as it was one of three harvest days coordinated by the Civil Administration. They were also accompanied by Border Police officers and by a Civil Administration representative.

At around 10:30 A.M., about 30 settlers came from the direction of the settlement of Metzad (Asfar), established near the site, and began harassing the farmers. After a verbal confrontation, the settlers and the Border Police officers, including those sent to protect the farmers, began shoving the latter away. After the Border Police left the area, the settlers started throwing stones at the surveyors, who fled the scene. During their escape, one was hit in the head by a stone thrown by the settlers and continued running while bleeding. When the two reached their cars, parked about 700 meters away, farmers who were there tried to treat Mu’tasem Mashani’s wound. Afterwards, a Civil Administration representative arrived along with Border Police officers and a military medic who gave Mashani first aid.   

Mashani filed a complaint at the police station in the settlement of Beitar Illit.  

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 21 November 2021, Mujahed Shalaldeh described what happened that day:  

The settlers started throwing stones at us. Mu’tasem asked me to take the measuring device, which costs about NIS 70,000 (~USD 22,506), and run away because he was worried the settlers would damage it. We ran for about 700 meters until we reached our cars. On the way, the settlers threw stones at us from a high place. I heard Mu’tasem shout and when I turned around, I saw his face covered in blood.  

I kept running and Mu’tasem ran behind me, bleeding, until we reached a safe place. Then I stopped to help him. I took my shirt off and bandaged his head with it to stop the bleeding. Then we ran to the car. 

On of the harvester's car, torched by settlers. Photo courtesy of the witnesses
On of the harvester's car, torched by settlers. Photo courtesy of the witnesses

Turmusaya, Ramallah District: Settlers attack olive harvesters; when the victims try to defend themselves, soldiers fire tear gas and “rubber” bullets at them

On 23 Oct. 2021, Turmusaya residents were harvesting olives on their land, near which the Adei Ad outpost was established, joined recently by a settler “farm”. Some 20 masked settlers attacked them with clubs and stones, injuring several of them. Dozens of residents came to help protect the land, and soldiers who arrived fired tear gas and “rubber” bullets at them. The settlers also torched a car and damaged several others. This incident is no exception: such settler attacks are another tool Israel uses to take over Palestinian land in the West Bank. Read more

Settlers attack Israeli volunteers in Surif. Photo by Shai Kendler, 11 Nov. 2021
Settlers attack Israeli volunteers in Surif. Photo by Shai Kendler, 11 Nov. 2021

Surif, Hebron District: Settlers attack Palestinian olive harvesters and Israeli volunteers with clubs

On the morning of 11 November 2021, residents of Surif went, accompanied by Israeli volunteers, to harvest olives on their land in the presence of several soldiers. Upon arrival, the farmers discovered that settlers had already harvested part of the crop. At around noon, the soldiers left the area. After about an hour, several masked settlers arrived and attacked the residents and volunteers with stones and clubs, while a settlement security guard stood by and watched. Three Israeli volunteers were injured and two were taken away for medical treatment. Towards the end of the attack, police and Border Police officers arrived and drove the settlers away.

Huwarah, Nablus District: Settlers attack harvesters with stones and clubs as soldiers stand by

On 11 November 2021, at around 12:30 P.M., settlers armed with clubs came to the northwestern side of the village and stoned residents who were harvesting olives. Soldiers who were there as part of the coordination with the military stood by during the attack. One of the harvesters, Nasser ‘Odeh (35), sustained minor injuries from stones that hit him and was treated at Rafidia hospital in Nablus.

Su’ad ‘Alayan and Na’imah Makhamreh after the attack. Photo by Yasmin Eran-Vardi, 7 Nov. 2021
Su’ad ‘Alayan and Na’imah Makhamreh after the attack. Photo by Yasmin Eran-Vardi, 7 Nov. 2021

Sadet a-Tha'leh, South Hebron Hills: Settlers attack Palestinians near their home, yet Israeli security forces drive the victims away

On 6 and 7 November, settlers came from the Manne farm outpost to a well that serves the community of Sadet a-Tha’leh in the South Hebron Hills. Residents tried to drive them away, but the settlers attacked them and even injured several of them. Israeli security forces arrived immediately and summoned a resident for questioning; in the second incident, they declared the area a closed military zone. Settlers from the farm have taken over some 1,500 dunams in which they prevent Palestinians from accessing farmland and pastureland. Read more

Burqah/Homesh: Settlers attack landowners coming to area of evacuated settlement to plant trees

On Monday, 15 November 2021, at around 11:00, about 15 residents of the village of Burqah in Nablus District came to their land, from which the settlement of Homesh had been evacuated in 2005.   

The landowners arrived in four cars and a tractor and brought seedlings to plant in their land but were surprised to find several settlers there when they reached the area. While attempting to leave the area for fear of a confrontation, a minibus drove up with more settlers.

The settlers, some of whom were carrying firearms and others holding batons and pepper spray, attacked the landowners in their cars using live fire, batons and stones. Shadi Abu O'mar (37) was injured after settlers hit him repeatedly on his head with a metal rod, as well as sprayed him with pepper spray, which caused him to lose consciousness. Five additional Palestinians were injured by baton blows and stones, and all were evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. In addition, the settlers smashed the windshields of three of the landowners’ cars.

Settlers throwing stones at the ‘Eid family home. Photo courtesy of the family.
Settlers throwing stones at the ‘Eid family home. Photo courtesy of the family.

Burin, Nablus District: Dozens of settlers stone the ‘Eid family home

On 6 November 2021, at around 4:15 P.M., dozens of settlers stoned the home of the ‘Eid family, who has been suffering from repeated settler attacks. About a dozen soldiers who arrived at the scene fired tear gas canisters at residents who came to defend the home and threw stones at the settlers to drive them away. The settlers and soldiers then retreated from the area.  

One of the villagers was injured in his arm by a stone thrown by a settler and was taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where a cast was placed on his arm. Two other residents were lightly injured by stones. 

Al-Ka’abneh community, Ramallah District: Settlers try to expel shepherd from pasture; soldiers attack him and his brother and detain them for five days

On Tuesday morning, 14 April 2020, at around 9:00 A.M., 'Abd a-Rahman Ka’abneh (21) was grazing his flock on farmland owned by residents of a-Taybah, about 300 meters from the community’s homes. Minutes later, two settlers appeared and began shouting at him to leave the area, claiming that he was on Jewish land. Ka’abneh called his brothers, Ahmad (34) and Mus’ab (32), who quickly arrived. When they got there, a verbal argument ensued with the settlers and at one point, the settlers started throwing stones at the flock. One of the settlers filmed the incident. After the Ka’abneh brothers tried unsuccessfully to push the settlers away, they called other relatives. Two of them arrived and started filming the incident, too. Read more

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