Israeli forces, Saturday, detained a number of Palestinian shepherds for hours, after chasing them down in Masafir Yatta area, to the south of Hebron, according to a local activist.Coordinator of the popular committee in Southern Hebron, Rateb al-Jabour told WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency that Israeli soldiers detained the Shepherds for almost five hours after chasing them down the grazing fields, in order to prevent them from grazing their livestock.
He said that the move was carried out under the pretext of ‘providing protection for settlers residing in nearby Israeli settlements, built illegally on Palestinian residents’ land.
Earlier Saturday, four settlers from the Israeli settlement of ‘Beit Ein’, built illegally on Palestinian-owned land, hurled stones at Mohammed al-Salibi and his three children, while they were working on their farmland in Beit Ummar town to the north of Hebron.
Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.
Israeli settlers, on Saturday, attacked a Palestinian family tending to their farmland in Wadi Abu al-Rish area in Beit Ummar town, to the north of Hebron, according to a local activist.
Coordinator of the Anti-settlement and Wall Popular Committee, Mohammed Awad, told WAFA that four settlers from the Israeli settlement of ‘Beit Ein’, built illegally on Palestinian-owned land, hurled stones at Mohammed al-Salibi and his three children, while they were working on their farmland, forcing them to leave out of fear for their lives.
Settlers, under the protection of Israeli soldiers, often tend to target Palestinians and their properties in the area for the benefit of expanding nearby illegal settlements.
Al-Haq human right organization stated that, “Attacks by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank against members of the Palestinian population and their property are an extensive, long-term, and worsening phenomenon.”
Al-Haq has documented a significant increase in incidents of settler violence against the Palestinian population of the West Bank since 2011.
Al-Haq said that, “The illegal Israeli settlement policy of transferring Israeli civilians into occupied territory is directly responsible for creating a hostile environment that puts civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, in harm’s way.”
The Security Council, the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement-related activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are illegal under international law.