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From the field

Settlers assault Palestinian shepherds sleeping in tents in the southern Hebron hills, 26 March 2006

'Aziz Shnaran, father of three

I live with my wife and our three children in the Susiya area. Our tent is located about three kilometers west of the Susiya settlement. My brother 'Abd a-Rahman, 27, lives next to me with his family, and our parents and our brother 'Issa, 24, live a bit further away. All of us work at farming and grazing.

Yesterday [Saturday, 25 March], after 11:30 at night, I awoke from the shouts of my brother 'Abd a-Rahman's wife and their children. I realized that something had happened to my brother. I thought a snake may have bitten him, or something like that. I ran to his tent. When I got there, I saw some men standing around him and beating him. He was lying on the ground at the entrance to his tent. The men left him and started to beat me. One of them hit me with a sharp instrument, a large knife or sword or something like that. He struck me below my left elbow, which drew a lot of blood. They ran away in an easterly direction, I think toward the Susiya settlement. I heard them speaking Hebrew. I could not see them clearly. Some of them had rifles and some had side curls. I think there were more than ten of them, and all were young men.

When they left, my father came and called the police. 'Abd a-Rahman and I lay there on the ground, and our wives and parents and our children were with us. They were screaming and trying to help us. They bandaged our wounds with pieces of cloth. We waited for more than an hour and a half for an army jeep and army ambulance to arrive. In the meantime, Ezra, from the Tayyush organization, and Nasser a-Nawaj'a, a person known in Susiya, came to help. The army ambulance took 'Abd a-Rahman and me to the Zif junction. Ezra and my father drove behind us. At the junction, a Palestinian ambulance was waiting. It took us to the ' Aliyah Government Hospital , in Hebron . My father and Nasser drove with us.

At the hospital, we were examined and X-rayed. I had a deep wound under the elbow, which the doctors stitched. I am still in the hospital. My father and brother Ibrahim went to the police station in Kiryat Arba and filed a complaint.

'Aziz Musa Muhammad Shnaran, married with three children, is a farmer, and a resident of Susiya, in the Southern Hebron Hills. The testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash, at 'Aliyah Hospital, in Hebron, on 26 March.