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Armed Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers

Armed Settlers Attack Palestinian Farmers Israelis and Internationals

For more Information Contact, Nadya: The International Women's Peace Service (IWPS)

http://www.womenspeacepalestine.org

Internationals, Israelis and Palestinian Farmers Injured in Attack by Armed Settler/Colonists

As two Internationals, five Israelis and 10 Palestinian farmers, including 3 very elderly women, plowed the fields of the West Bank village Sawiya this Wednesday morning, up to 20 armed settler/colonists with a German Shepherd from the illegal colony of Eli descended and began attacking them. The Israeli and international accompaniers had gone to the land to offer a protective presence to the farmers who are repeatedly attacked by settler/colonists as they peacefully farm their own land.

An elderly woman was beaten severely in the head with guns and sticks and her arm appears to be broken. Settler/colonists threw stones at least one Palestinian man while he was calling to warn other groups in the field. He was also beaten with rocks, and he is now bleeding and his shoulder may be dislocated. One international from to South Africa, Anna, was attacked by several settlers and a large German Shepherd, and her purse and camera were snatched from her. Another International, Ayesha, fell and injured her ankle while being chased down a rocky hillside by the settlers. Keren, Raz, Ariel, and Ilan, all Israelis, were beaten with sticks. One French journalist named Frederique was beaten and his camera stolen. Other thefts included one donkey, one horse, and plowing equipment.

One Israeli soldier witnessed the attacks but took no action to deter the settlers from their crimes. Later on, more Israeli soldiers arrived, only to physically push the farming group away and to tell the Palestinians to leave their own land that they were farming, which is at least 300 meters from the border of the illegal settlement, Eli.

The attack occurred this morning 9:30 am. The settlers "seemed to appear from nowhere," according to Anna from IWPS, and began running at the groups screaming and shouting "Nazis, Nazis!"

"This attack was an attack against peace," said Anna. "We were working together to plow the fields, side by side with Israelis and Palestinians. It's obvious that the illegal settlers want to destroy peace between people and terrorize them in order to get them to leave their land. We were simply enjoying the beautiful day in this pastoral landscape, and were suddenly surrounded by violence and being attacked."

Despite the attack, the Palestinian farmers, Israelis and Internationals will remain in the field today to continue plowing their land. "Despite the risks, the land must be plowed so that the farmers can feed their families," explained Anna.

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