Monday, August 11, 2008

Violence Increases in Wadi Nasara

(CPT Hebron Release)

Settler attacks in Wadi Nasara have increased recently, with at least six attacks reported in the last nine days.

On Aug. 1, a group of about 20 settlers attacked a wedding party at the Jaabari family home. Five Palestinians were injured when they were hit with stones or beaten. Three people, including a pregnant woman, went to the hospital with minor injuries.

The following day, a groups of 25-30 settlers entered the Jaabari land and attacked Palestinians passing in the street. Again five Palestinians went to the hospital with injuries.

Attacks continued over the next week. On Aug. 4, settlers threw stones at two families’ homes in Wadi Nasara. The next day settlers threw stones at a 79-year-old man as he picked almonds on his land and then beat him. When two CPTers visited him four days later, his arm was still covered in bruises.

Settlers attacked again on Aug. 6, throwing stones at a home next to the Kiryat Arba settlement. The Jaabari house was stoned again on Aug. 8, and settlers stole four of the family’s sheep.

“The problem is the soldiers,” said Issa Amro, a Palestinian human rights worker with the Israeli organization B’Tselem. “They are backing the settlers up in a horrible way.”

Amro was detained by soldiers on Aug. 1 when he tried to film the attack on the wedding party. He said soldiers in the area consistently allow attacks to continue.

Contributing to the recent escalation were two tents that settler youth erected on Palestinian land in Wadi Nasara, which soldiers removed on Aug. 9. According to Palestinians living nearby, settler youth – including some from outside Hebron – had slept in the tents for more than three weeks. They attacked Palestinians living in Wadi Nasara as well as pedestrians passing by the tents.

On Aug. 8, settler boys told a group of CPTers and Palestinians that the road running next to the tents, which both settlers and Palestinians use, is now for “Jews only.” They shouted threats when the group continued to pass.

CPT and other human rights workers have been visiting Wadi Nasara regularly since February due to the regular attacks against Palestinians living there.

No comments: