An extremist settlers group of Shvut Rachel settlement, in the northern
part of the West Bank, attacked on Thursday several Palestinian
residents while picking their olive orchards in the area. One resident
was moderately injured and was evacuated for medical treatment.
Several residents stated that they were attacked and harassed by the settlers who attacked them and their orchards.
The Israeli police and several activists of Rabbis For Human Rights arrived at the scene, but the settlers were already gone to Shvut Rachel settlement.
Israeli sources reported that the settlers claim that the land belongs to them, but the land belongs to the Palestinian residents and is officially recognized by the Israeli so-called Civil Administration office.
A local farmer identified as Hashim Ahmad told the Israeli Ynetnews that Israeli soldiers escorted the residents from their village to their orchards located near the settlement, but as soon as the soldiers left the area, the settlers attacked them.
“twenty minutes after the soldiers left, at least twenty settlers came and attacked us”, Ahmad stated, “They hit me and my wife, one of the villagers was also injured”.
Ahmad added that even if the soldiers were there, they would not have helped the local residents, and would instead defend the settlers.
“But if you defend yourself and attack the settlers who attacked you, you would be blamed by the army”, he added, “they will say that you started the fight”.
Several Palestinian farmers filed complaints to the District Coordination office; military officials also arrived at the scene, but the result was not stopping the settlers, instead, the army barred the residents from continuing their harvest for the rest of the day.
A representative of the Israeli group, Rabbis for Human Rights”, said that the army must implement the orders of the Israeli High Court of Justice, and must enforce the law against the settlers. The Palestinian must be able to harvest their olives without being attacked by the settlers, he added.