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Hebron: settlers attack Palestinians, soldiers arrive, Palestinians (and one Italian) get arrested
Email from International Solidarity Movement
Date: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Subject: ISM press release - please dispatch
22nd October 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel Rumeida, Hebron - Palestinian Territories
Today, a group of seven settlers from the illegal settlement of Tel Rumeida arrived at Hasham Azzeh`s olive grove in Hebron, yelling for everyone to get off of “their” land
Hasham was on his land harvesting his olives for the first time in 5 years after being granted permission from the District Civil Liaison. He was accompanied by members of his family as well as several International Human Rights volunteers. The situation quickly escalated as settlers pushed the Palestinians in order to try and enter Hasham`s house.
Within ten minutes the soldiers arrived and began to separate the Palestinian family and internationals: siding with the Israeli settlers. Arguments continued with both sides yelling “this is my land,” regardless of the fact that Hashem has the deeds to the land. The settlers were also heard shouting “This is not your land, this is the land of the Jewish people.”
At this point ten more settlers came and joined in the fight. The soldiers pushed the Palestinians and internationals back towards Hasham`s house threatening to arrest anyone who did not obey. The soldiers grabbed a young Palestinian man by the name of Achmad Al Atrash who was video taping standing from behind international activists and pushed him against the wall and zip-tied his arms behind his back.
Then they went after an International activist trying to arrest him for taking video footage. While trying to escape they grabbed an Italian activist standing by, put him in a headlock on the ground and arrested him. Jawad Abu Eisheh who had arrived in solidarity with his neighbors was also captured and arrested.
The two Palestinians and Italian activist have been arrested and taken to Kiryat Arba police station.
Notes to editors
1. The International Solidarity Movement is a non-violent, Palestinian-lead organisation run by volunteers from across the globe, working in the heart of Palestinian communities
2. The district of Tel Rumeida is heavily militarized and contains the homes of both Israeli Settlers and Palestinians
3. Hasham`s family moved to Tel Rumeida in 1958 after being forcibly removed from their homes in what is now Israel
4. The Tel Rumeida settlement was installed in 1984
5. In 2006 the settlers smashed Hisham`s teeth in with a stone. That same year his wife (3 months pregnant at the time) was attacked and subsequently miscarried. Again in 2006 she was attacked, this time 4 months pregnant, and again, suffered from a miscarriage
6. The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that violent attacks by settlers against Palestinians increased by more than fifty percent in 2011.
7. Access to agricultural land and particularly olive trees is essential for Palestinian villagers. Approximately eighty percent of cultivated land in Palestine is planted with olive trees, and the harvest provides between twenty and fifty percent of a farming family’s annual income.
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