Six settler girls from Benjamin, a settlement Northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah, attacked Palestinian farmers while they were working in olive orchards in the nearby village of Sinjil.Manar Jibrin-IMEMC & Agencies – Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 18:52
Kamal, a Sinjil resident, said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“The girls followed us, holding pocketknives, cut the sacks, and spilled the olives on the ground.’
Israeli soldiers, who were present in the area, did not attempt to stop the settlers, but, instead, Ã¢â‚¬Å“they stood there and watched,Ã¢â‚¬Â Kamal reported.
Many Palestinians in the West Bank fear that the scenario will repeat itself later on in the season.
‘We filed a complaint against the settlers, but I know that nothing will happen. The Israeli soldiers said they were coming to protect us but didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help at allÃ¢â‚¬Â, Kamal added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I told this to the commander of the unit, but he just said that we can pick again tomorrow.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, of the organization, Rabbis for Human Rights (which assists Palestinian residents in the region with the annual olive harvest) said that ‘This is not the first time those girls have caused trouble there. For years there have been problems of all sorts with crop theft.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was there today and saw plastic bags and olives scattered on the groundÃ¢â‚¬Â, he added.