AT-TUWANI RELEASE: Masked settlers attack three Palestinian women in the South Hebron Hills

11 April 2009
AT-TUWANI RELEASE:  Masked settlers attack three Palestinian women in the South Hebron Hills

[Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal.  Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law.]

(Umm-Zeitouna Valley, South Hebron Hills, West Bank)  On Friday 10 April at about 10:00 a.m. five Israeli settlers attacked three Palestinian women from the Bedouin village of Umm Al Kher, south of Yatta, while the women were grazing their sheep and gathering herbs in the nearby Umm Zeituna valley.  The women reported that the men were masked and armed with wooden sticks.  They beat one of the women, aged 21, injuring her arm, and chased the women and flocks off the land while throwing rocks.  The injured woman needed to be hospitalized.

Later that morning in the same area, four settlers harassed shepherds from Tuba and Umm Al Kher, chasing them and their flocks off their land.  The four settlers also harassed two members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, who were passing in Umm Zeituna on their way to Tuba.  One of the settlers tried to seize a mobile phone from the CPTers while another stole a video camera.  The CPTers reported that the four men then ran toward Ma'on settlement.

Palestinians and At-Tuwani team members made complaints to the Israeli police, providing video and photographic evidence.  The police said they would start investigating on Sunday.

Settlers from nearby settlements regularly harass and attack Palestinians in the area of Umm Zeituna while the Palestinians are grazing their flocks, farming their land, or walking to the city of Yatta.