A Palestinian farmer was detained, along with his wife and sister late on Monday, and charged with trespassing on his farmland – even though the farmer holds the title to the land, which has been in his family for generations.Jamal Jaber Asaad, 58, was harvesting olives from his family’s grove in Artas village near Bethlehem, when an Israeli from the nearby settlement of Neve Daniel, called the Israeli Security Forces (ISF). The settlement is constructed on land taken from the village of Artas.
The settler, Nadia Matar, told the ISF that she saw someone ‘trespassing’ on her land. Matar is one of around 1,000 residents of the settlement of Neve Daniel, which was established in 1982 in the ‘Gush Etzion’ bloc of settlements south of Bethlehem.
This is not the first time that Matar has tried to provoke incidents with Palestinians living in the area. According to the spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, Awad Abu Sabi, Nadia Matar was one of a group of settlers who has damaged olive trees belonging to the Asaad family, and has set fire to Asaad’s home in a previous incident.
A report released in October by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, found that Israeli settler violence against Palestinians is on the rise, and that the ISF frequently ignore, and are often complicit in, the settler attacks.
Palestinians who have filed complaints with the Israeli forces after facing attacks by Israeli settlers have been ignored or dismissed, according to the report, which stated, “Over 90% of monitored complaints regarding settler violence filed by Palestinians with the Israeli police in recent years have been closed without indictment.”