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From the field

Settlers beat Jamal a-Nawaj'a and throw stones at his mother and wife, in Susiya, March 2006

Samiha a-Nawaj'a, mother of seven

Samiha a-Nawaj'a

I live in Susiya, which is located east of Yata, with my husband 'Ali Isma'il a-Nawaj'a, 35. We are farmers and have a flock of twenty sheep and goats. We graze the flock in the grazing area near where we live. My husband is now working in Israel , and he comes home on weekends.

On Monday, 13 March, my brother-in-law, Jamal Isma'il Salameh a-Nawaj'a, 24, and I were grazing the sheep and goats near the village. About 200 meters from us were men and women from the village who were planting olive trees on their land. People from Tayyush were working with them. I could see them from where we were grazing the flock. I saw a group of settlers and Israeli army vehicles pull up where the farmers were. I realized that there were going to be problems between the farmers and the settlers. The settlers bothered the farmers in planting the seedlings, and I later learned that the settlers had uprooted some of the trees. I watched what was going on for two or three hours. In the meantime, five settlers came over to Jamal and me and tried to get us to leave with the flock. Jamal argued with them. Then some journalists, photographers, and people from Tayyush appeared, and the settlers left us and went in the direction of the farmers, who were situated between the grazing area and the village's caves.

Samiha a-Nawaja'a with her children in Susiya. Photo: Musa Abu Hashhash, 23 March 2006. />

Jamal told me to stay with the flock, and he returned to the village because his wife and mother were there alone. He was afraid that the settlers would assault them. I stayed there alone, grazing the flock. Around noon, about an hour after Jamal left, three soldiers came to where I was grazing. Two of them were young, about seventeen or eighteen years old. One of them had side curls. The third was about twenty-five. When they saw me, they threw stones at the flock and me. I bent over to try to avoid the stones. But more than ten stones hit me in the back, shoulders, and leg. I shouted for help. The settlers also cursed at me.

A few minutes later, Fatma a-Nawaj'a arrived holding two stones. She was with the farmers who were planting the seedlings. When the settlers saw her, they ran away to the east, toward the settlements. I decided to leave the area. I gathered my flock and Jamal's flock, but one goat remained. It had been hit by the stones and was unable to move. When I got to the village, I saw dozens of soldiers, Border Police, regular Police, and farmers standing by where I live. About thirty minutes earlier, some settlers had appeared and threw stones at my mother-in-law, who is sixty years old, and at Sanaa, Jamal's wife, and beat Jamal.

The police officers told the three of us to go to the Police station in Kiryat Arba to file a complaint. Yoram and another guy from Tayyush drove us in their car. At the stationhouse, a guy named "Salomon" questioned us separately. We were there until 10:30 P.M.. Ezra, from Tayyush, came and took us home. Jamal told me that the guy who questioned us gave him a summons to appear in court in June.

Since the incident, my back and shoulders have hurt, but I have not gone to the doctor. I am waiting for my husband to return from work [in Israel ], and he will take me to the doctor.

Samiha 'Aqab Badawi a-Nawaj'a, 40, married with seven children, is a farmer and a resident of Susiya, Hebron District. Her testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash at the witness's home on 23 March 2006.