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From the field

Settler kids in Hebron throw stones at Bahija Sharbati, striking her in the head and shattering her windows, 2 April 2005

Bahija Sharbati, mother of Six

For ten years, my family has been living in Tel-Rumeida. A road two or three meters wide separates my house from the houses of the Jewish settlers in the neighborhood. My house is surrounded by a vineyard. There is no high fence around it, so the settlers can get to my house.

Over the past four years, since the outbreak of the intifada, life has been very hard for us. The settlers attack us and the army takes harsh actions [against us] to protect the settlers. Soldiers block the roads leading to our house, and we aren't even able to walk on the road on foot. To get home, we have to walk through the fields, pass by the nearby houses, and climb fences and ladders. If we have things with us, we have to carry them on our back from the DCO checkpoint to the house, which takes more than ten minutes.

Last Tuesday [29 March], around 3:30 P.M., a B'Tselem fieldworker came to the neighborhood to film the path we use to go to and from our house. Settlers apparently saw him in our neighborhood, and right after he left, they began to throw stones at my house, shattering a windowpane in the children's room. The window faces the settlers' houses. My children were at home at the time but were not in their room. I immediately went outside, stood in front of my house, and shouted to the soldier stationed on the roof of my house to stop the settlers.

The Sharabati family children climb up the roof in order to reach their home. Photo: Musa Abu Hashhash, B'Tselem The Sharabati family children climb up the roof in order to reach their home. Photo: Musa Abu Hashhash, B'Tselem

There were more than ten children throwing stones. They were standing in the one of the settler's buildings, which is higher than our house. They were a few meters away. The soldier shouted at me to go into my house. I only speak Arabic, and the soldier spoke to me in Arabic. When the settlers stopped throwing stones, I called the Police and told them what happened. The policeman who answered said, in Arabic, that he would talk to the soldier and tell him to take care of the situation. The stones broke four windowpanes in the children's room.

Yesterday [Saturday], my husband, children, and I were inside the house. A little after 4:30 P.M., I heard a pounding at the back of the house, which faces the settlemen. I went into the kitchen and saw iron bars being forced through the wooden boards that we had put up outside the windows to protect the windowpanes. There is space between the boards. The settlers were threading the iron bars through the wood so they could break the windows. I rushed outside and shouted to the soldier on the roof. As I did, I saw about ten settler children, aged 6-12. They threw stones at me. Three stones hit me: one in the chest, another in the left thigh, and the third in the back of my head. I shouted again to the soldier on the roof. He laughed and said, in Arabic: “Get into the house.”

I stayed outside. A few seconds later, two soldiers ran over to me from the field. They apparently had been in the settlement. One of them was an army doctor. He put a salve on my head wound and suggested that I go to the hospital. The other soldier was very nice. He told me that he saw what happened and had called the Police.

Around 5:30 P.M., a Police patrol car came by. The two police officers took me to the Police station in Kiryat Arba, where I filed a complaint. Then the police took me home in the patrol car. At about eight o'clock that night, my husband took me to ‘Aliya Government Hospital, which is located in Area H-1. After the physician stitched the head wound, I returned home.

During the stone-throwing that injured me, the settlers also shattered six windowpanes in the kitchen and hallway./>

Bahija Subuh Sa'ed Sharbati, 44, is a mother of six and a resident of Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron. Her Testimony was taken by Musa Abu Hashhash at her home, on 3 April 2005