sheep to death; escapes to nearby settlement
South Hebron Hills, West Bank—In the early afternoon of 23 January 2011,
an armed man killed two animals near the South Hebron Hills village of Maghayir
Al-Abeed. Two teenage shepherds
reported that they were watering their family’s flock at a well just above
their village when a man carrying an M-16 fired four or five shots at the dog that
accompanies their flock. The
shooter proceeded to chase the flock, kicking a ewe and throwing rocks at its
head. The dog died immediately
from four gunshot wounds and the incapacitated sheep died approximately two
hours after the beating.
The two teenage shepherds, Mohammed Mahmoud Mukahmri, 15, and ‘Awli ‘Ali
Mukhamri, 13, ascended the hill, following the assailant from a distance, in
time to see the man enter the grouping of trees that surrounds Ma’on settlement
and Havat Ma’on outpost. They
reported the man had a dark brown beard and was wearing black pants, a black
shirt, and a yarmulke.
Ninety minutes after the incident, Israeli authorities arrived to investigate
the crime scene and take testimonies from those present during the incident.
Hani Salaami Mukhamri, the owner of animals, who arrived at the scene mere
moments after the shooting, reacted sharply to the police investigator’s doubts
that Mukhamri could be certain the assailant that he saw was an Israeli
settler, and not an Arab. “Palestinians
in this area don’t have guns, never in my life have I seen a Palestinian
civilian with a gun. Only settlers
have guns here.” Mukhamri also
lamented the utter disregard for the lives of his animals, saying “three lives
were lost here today: my shepherding dog, a sheep, and the unborn lamb that the
ewe was carrying.”
The well where the shooting took place is a main source of water for the
families in Maghayir Al-Abeed. In
early 2001, Mukamri’s mother was shot in the leg by an Israeli settler while
she drew water from the same well.
International peace activists from Christian Peacemaker Teams arrived at the
scene after the shooting, taking testimonies, as well as video and photo documentation.
Additional pictures are available here.
Video is available here.