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Testimony: Settlers assault two elderly farmers on their way from their farmland to their homes in Beit Ummar, 26 April 2009

Hammad Wahadin, 72

Hammad Wahadin

My brothers and I have fruit orchards on eighty-eight dunams in a wadi next to the Bat Ayin settlement. Yesterday [26 April], I went with my brother ‘Abdullah, 82, to work the land and weed it.

Around 11:00 A.M., a security officer in a white van, who was from the settlement, and an Israeli army jeep pulled up. The security officer once told me his name was Ya'akov. When the van was about twenty meters from me, he said, in Arabic, “Good morning” and asked me if I was all right. “Thank God,” I replied. Then he asked me how many workers I had. When I told him I was alone, he pointed to ‘Abdullah, who was working about one hundred meters from me. I told him he was my brother. Suddenly, I saw children next to the settlement, about five hundred meters from us. I was afraid they would approach us, and I asked Ya'akov to make them go back to the settlement and to make sure they didn't get close to us. He said, “All right,” but the two vehicles remained for about ten minutes and then left.

We worked until 12:45 P.M., when we got back on our donkeys to ride home. After we had gone about three hundred meters, a group of settlers suddenly approached me from behind. I got off the donkey, and five settlers attacked me and knocked me to the ground. One of them grabbed my walking stick. When I managed to get away from them, they threw stones at me, some of them hitting me in the back. I shouted a warning to my brother, who was about 20-30 meters from me. Suddenly, I got hit hard in the right arm by a stick. My brother got off his donkey and another group of settlers appeared. They were in their early twenties. The settlers encircled ‘Abdullah. Their dog attacked me, but I threw a stone at it, and it ran away.

When I was about ten meters from ‘Abdullah and the settlers, my brother fell to the ground and started to bleed. Then, he got up and ran from the settlers, who continued to throw stones at us. ‘Abdullah managed to get to me, and we both threw stones at them. The stone-throwing went on for more than an hour. During the battle, we worked our way toward the village of Safa. When we got to a high point, which gave us an advantage, they left.

Once the settlers left, I helped my brother get onto his donkey, and I got on mine. We went up the hill to the house of Hussein Muhammad Hussein ‘Aadi, in Safa. I asked him to take my brother to the hospital. I couldn't go with ‘Abdullah because I had to take the donkeys back home. When I got home, I went to bed.

I later learned that ‘Abdullah went the hospital and was treated. He had a wound in the back of his head. I was injured on my right hand, which I bandaged myself. My back still hurts.

In 2003, settlers from Bat Ayin hit me in the head with an iron bar, badly injuring me. B'Tselem documented the incident.

Hammad 'Abd al-Hamid Saber Wahadin, 72, married with four children, is a farmer and a resident of Beit Ummar in Hebron District. His testimony was given to Musa Abu Hashhash at the witness's house on 27 April 2009.