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A gang of settler-colonists attacked a Palestinian family with stones and metal bars on the Palestinian family’s land in the South Hebron Hills, smashing the father’s face and beating the mother in front of her children; at the bidding of the ‘Havat Ma’on’ settler-colonists, Israeli soldiers arrested five children aged 8 to 13, for picking gundelia herbs near the outpost; a settler-colonist shot a boy grazing his flock near the outpost ‘Havat Yaacov Talya’ – the Israeli police is not investigating; settler-colonists ran amok under protection of the Israeli army in the Palestinian town of Huwwara Friday night, and at a construction site in the Palestinian village of Bourin on Saturday; the routine of house demolitions, expulsion of shepherds, vandalizing olive trees and invasions into sown Palestinian fields throughout the Occupied Territories continues; in Jerusalem, activist vigils returned to the neighborhood of Issawiya at the request of its inhabitants who suffer from police violence;
photo: Sa’id ‘Ilwan after being attacked by settler-colonists at Umm Al Ara’is
South Hebron Hills
On Wednesday, March 10, at the bidding of the illegal outpost ‘Havat Ma’on’ settler-colonists, Israeli soldiers violently arrested five children aged 8-13 picking gundelia herbs near the outpost. The children, mostly under criminal liability age, were held by the soldier for about 5 hours, until they were released at the Hebron police station.
The next day, a settler-colonist shot above the head of a boy grazing near the illegal outpost ‘Havat Yaacov Talya’. Police arrived after a considerable while, took testimony from the shepherd, but refused to approach the settler-colonist who was walking around inside privately owned Palestinian land, closed to Israelis by the Israeli army regional commander.
On Saturday, March 13, a gang of settler-colonists, masked, attacked a Palestinian family that had come to its own land at Umm Al Ara’is. The family members came there as they do every Saturday, and saw a settler-colonist grazing in their sown fields. The settler-colonist left for the ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost, and returned with a group of settler-colonists who attacked the family with stones and metal rods. The father was beaten with a metal rod in his face and has suffered several fractures in his jaw. The mother too was beaten, and apparently some of the children as well. The family’s car was badly damaged. Activists summoned to the spot were detained on their way there by a flying checkpoint set up by the occupation forces. See also in Haaretz and in Local Call +972. Later that day, several settler-colonists entered the Palestinian village of Tawane and left when villagers came out to them. The villagers and activists summoned there prevented the entry of a large group of settler-colonists from ‘Havat Maon’ who hung out near the village.
On Sunday, settler-colonists began preparing the ground in Palestinian land opposite the settler-colony of ‘Maon’. The next day a protest vigil took place there by the landowners, inhabitants of the area and activists, and was violently dispersed by the Israeli army. A larger protest demonstration took place there on Friday. On Saturday soldiers tried to prevent surveyors summoned by the Palestinian landowners to do their work on the ground, but activist presence enabled it to continue.
On Monday 13 olive trees were discovered vandalized in the area between Tawane and the settler-colony of ‘Maon’. During the week, activists returned there and began re-planting. Settler-colonists and soldiers doing their bidding continue to harass Palestinian shepherds in this area.
On Sunday, March 7, soldiers chased away Palestinian shepherds near Touba, on Thursday the army blocked the road leaving from Shaab Al Botan to Yatta and disconnected a water pipe of the village, and on Saturday a settler-colonist directed Israeli army forces to the shepherd community that stays at Khirbet Th’ale during this season, and the soldiers forbade the Palestinians to use the waterhole that serves them.
On Saturday activists accompanied shepherds from Zanouta unhampered.
Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
Setterl-colonists from the outposts around the Tayibe junction and Deir Jarayer on the West Bank Hill Range continue to lead their flocks on purpose into tended fields belonging to the local Palestinian farmers, but activists that arrived there on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday managed to remove the flocks from the fields. Last Friday, the Civil Administration official did confirm to the police that these lands are indeed privately owned, and that the settler-colonists’ flocks entering them were prohibited, but the police and the army refrain from stopping the invading settler-colonists.
In lands belonging to the nearby Palestinian village Turmus Aya, activists accompanied Palestinian farmers on Tuesday and Thursday this week, plowing in the olive groves near the outpost ‘Adei Ad’, without any special incident.
In Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley activists accompanied shepherds on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On two occasions soldiers coming there tried to chase away the Palestinian shepherds, but were forced to admit that there is no legal reason to prevent their presence there. Settler-colonists from the area continue to use drones to chase away the shepherds, even with the presence of the occupation soldiers who find this very entertaining.
In the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley activists managed to prevent settler-colonists from chasing away shepherds from Humra on Wednesday, and on Friday they accompanied shepherds grazing there unhampered.
Throughout the Occupied Territories and Jerusalem
During the night between Friday and Saturday it was reported that a group of about 20 settler-colonists came from the settler-colony ‘Yitzhar’ to the Palestinian town of Huwwara (Nablus district). The settler-colonists threw stones and paint bottles at houses and vehicles in the western part of the town and damaged two cars.
On Saturday afternoon it was reported that settler-colonists from the outpost ‘Giv’at Ronen’ entered the village of Bourin (Nablus district), threw stones and vandalized a construction site. Soldiers escorting them did not keep them from throwing stones and ruining the site, but prevented Palestinians from approaching it by using stun and teargas grenades. The settler-colonists’ and their accompaniers’ actions did not cease until about 6:30 p.m. At the height of the incident there were at least 18 settler-colonists present, ‘security officials’ of the settler-colonies ‘Har Beracha’ and ‘Yitzhar’, and at least 28 soldiers. One ‘security official’ was documented shooting in the air and pointing his weapon at Palestinian inhabitants. The vandals caused much damage to the construction site. According to the report, a Palestinian boy was wounded in the leg by a live bullet and another Palestinian tripped and broke hi8s leg while trying to escape the settler-colonists.
The occupation forces demolished 3 structures this week in Isteih (Jericho district), 2 in Bani Na’im (Hebron district), and another 2 in En Shibli in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley.
In Jerusalem on Monday, the police dispersed an event held to mark International Women’s Day, claiming it was organized by the PA, and arrested two of the organizers. The same day, the occupation authorities demolished 2 buildings in the neighborhood of Jabal Mukabar.
At the request of inhabitants of the Issawiya neighborhood, activists returned to hold vigils there following the police harassing residents. The activists stayed in the neighborhood on Thursday and Saturday, and in both days their vigils were quiet.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah takes place every Friday. The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are protesting their violent evictions from their homes, the taking over of the neighborhood by the settlers, and the Judaization of East Jerusalem. They call upon each and every person who supports their struggle to join them.