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Shooting, assaulting, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at cars and homes, raiding villages, torching structures and fields, vandalizing property and crops: settlers exercise harsh daily violence against Palestinians, with state support, to drive them out of their land. Launched in early 2020, this blog gives voice to the people exposed to this violence. Background on the topic

October 2021

1

Beit Hadassah, central Hebron: Settlers clashing with Palestinian youths on street stone nearby home

On 1 October 2021, at around 3:00 P.M., about 10 settlers, some of them masked, gathered on the roof of the Beit Hadassah settlement in central Hebron. They started arguing with young Palestinians who were passing by on the street, and the confrontation escalated into mutual stone-throwing. After the Palestinian youths fled, the settlers noticed Narmin Abu Haya (16), whose parents are B’Tselem volunteers, filming the incident from the window of her home. They began throwing stones at the house, in full view of the soldiers at a nearby guard post. This time, the attack on the Abu Haya home ended without casualties or damage to property

September 2021

10

Settlers attack homes, one with live fire; soldiers shoot at Palestinians trying to defend their property

On 10 Sep. 2021, settlers escorted by soldiers threw stones at ‘Abd al-Jawad and Maha al-Ja’bari’s home in Hebron. When Palestinians threw stones to fend them off, a soldier opened fire at the Palestinians, who fled. The soldiers entered the house and another one to search for the Palestinians, while doing nothing to stop the settlers’ ongoing assault. When the settlers returned to Kiryat Arba, one of them passed by the Abu S’eifan family’s home and fired several live shots at it. Read more

9

Jaber neighborhood, central Hebron: Settlers attack homes and residents with stones; soldiers fire at residents

On 9 September 2021, at around 2:00 A.M., several settlers entered a lot where residents of the Jaber neighborhood are forced to park their cars, on the other side of the Jaber Checkpoint in central Hebron. The settlers encountered neighborhood residents, who have been taking turns guarding their cars since settlers vandalized nine of them on 14 August 2021. The residents called other neighbors to help protect the cars, and the settlers began throwing stones at neighborhood homes and at the residents, who threw stones back. Soldiers who arrived from the checkpoint fired live ammunition and hurled stun grenades at the Palestinians in order to drive them away. The settlers' attack lasted about half an hour, after which they left the neighborhood without having managed to damage the cars.

August 2021

29

Jaber neighborhood, central Hebron: Soldiers fire live ammunition to protect settlers vandalizing nine cars in Hebron

On 29 Aug. 2021, settlers stoned homes in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron in front of soldiers, injuring a Palestinian in the head and vandalizing nine cars. When the residents tried to fend off the settlers by throwing stones, soldiers opened live fire. Police arrived at the scene only after the settlers left, and despite the presence of military security cameras, demanded proof that settlers had caused the damage. This incident reflects Israeli policy, which utilizes settler violence as a tool for expelling Palestinians from their homes. Read more

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Jihad a-Najar in the ambulance. Courtesy of family.
Jihad a-Najar in the ambulance. Courtesy of family.

Wadi al-Hussein, central Hebron: Settlers chasing Palestinian children attack woman sheltering them; soldiers ignore the assault

On 14 August 2021, at around 4:00 P.M., about 10 Palestinian children between the ages of 6 and 12 came to the home of Jihad and Jamal a-Najar in the Wadi al-Hussein neighborhood in central Hebron, seeking refuge from a settler who was chasing them. A fence separates the neighborhood from the adjacent settlement of Kiryat Arba. The couple took the children inside and Jamal stopped the settler from coming in after them. After trying to enter other homes and threatening the couple with a stone, the settler left and headed towards Kiryat Arba. A few minutes later, he returned with three other settlers. One of them pushed Jihad, who had come outside to film what was happening, hit the camera she was holding and punched her in the chest.

Soldiers who came to the scene ignored Jihad’s report she had been attacked and tried to break into the house in search of the children. After Jihad felt chest pain and had difficulty breathing, her husband called a Red Crescent ambulance that took her to ‘Alia hospital in Hebron. The soldiers and settlers left the scene, and Jihad was examined at the hospital and discharged several hours later.

July 2021

9

Jaber neighborhood, Hebron: Settlers harass residents for two days and attack them with stones and pepper spray in front of soldiers

On 9 July 2021, at around 8:30 P.M., about five teens from a settlement in Hebron entered the Jaber neighborhood in the city center. They began throwing stones at homes and pounding on doors. The teens shouted and swore at the residents in full view of soldiers, claiming stones had been thrown at them. Within minutes, they were joined by about 15 other settlers, many of them adults and at least two of them armed. The teens continued to throw stones at homes. The two armed settlers threatened resident Suzan Jaber, a volunteer with B'Tselem's camera project, who was filming the incident from her window. A police cruiser and two military jeeps arrived at the scene, but the officers and soldiers did not remove the settlers from the neighborhood or detain any of them.

At one point, five soldiers went up to the roof of Suzan Jaber's house and demanded that four members of her family, including two minors, go down to the street with them. The soldiers questioned the young Palestinians about stone-throwing and let them go after about 10 minutes. They then left the neighborhood along with the settlers.

In this incident, as in many other incidents B'Tselem has documented in Hebron and elsewhere in the West Bank, soldiers escorted violent settlers, allowed them to do as they pleased and threatened and harassed Palestinians.

In a testimony she gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari on 9 July 2021, Suzan Jaber, a mother of seven, recounted what happened that night:

Suzan Jaber
Suzan Jaber. Courtesy of witness.

On Friday, 9 July 2021, at around 8:30 P.M., I was sitting with my family on our balcony, which overlooks the street. We were eating and talking when suddenly, we heard noise and shouting outside. I quickly climbed the stairs to the roof and asked my daughter Hanin to get me my camera. When I got to the roof, I saw about five young settlers throwing stones at the neighbors' houses and pounding on the doors aggressively, including on the door of our neighbor, Wajih Jaber. There were about five soldiers on the street and they were trying to prevent the settlers from pounding on the doors, but not seriously. Instead, the soldiers prevented Wajih Jaber from reaching his house.

Meanwhile, about four young Palestinians started to verbally confront the settlers. More settlers arrived, two of them in their thirties and armed. The settlers started throwing stones in every direction, including at my house. I tried to film what was happening. The two armed settlers aimed their weapons at me. My son Ahmad pulled me inside the house, because he was afraid they'd shoot me.

A few minutes later, five soldiers came up to the roof and started accusing us of throwing stones at the settlers. I pointed to the table and told them we’d been sitting eating ice cream and hadn’t attacked anyone, and that the settlers were the ones who attacked us. One of the soldiers insisted on taking all the young guys who had been on the roof at that time down to the street. I refused at first, but my husband's cousin talked me into it. I kept on filming the soldiers while they led my sons, Muhammad (20) and Ahmad (13), and our relatives Mu'tasem (28) and Safwan (16) out to the street. The soldiers detained them there for about 10 minutes and let them go. Then the soldiers and settlers left the neighborhood.

Wajih Jaber (42), a father of seven, was out on the street when the settlers and soldiers entered the neighborhood. The soldiers prevented him from reaching his house, and a dog the settlers had with them tried to attack his wife, Ramyeh Jaber (37). In a testimony she gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari, Ramyeh Jaber related:

The settlers always attack us, especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The last time was on the evening of 9 July 2021. My husband Wajih was on the street with his friends and I was sitting in the yard with our three little girls, who are three, five and nine. I heard shouting and noise outside, and stones started landing in our yard. I opened the front gate, which leads to the street, to see what was going on. I saw a lot of young settlers. Some of them were attacking a young guy from the neighborhood in front of about five soldiers. One of the soldiers started yelling at me to go into the house and close the door. I saw my husband about 50 meters away, trying to get to the young guy and help him, but the soldiers were holding him back. I stayed standing in the doorway and asked the soldiers to allow my husband to get home.
 
Suddenly, a giant dog attacked me. It belonged to the settlers and had no leash or muzzle. I was terrified and tried to go back, but I fell down and was badly hit in the back of my head and in my right shoulder. My girls were screaming and crying in fear. Meanwhile, my husband arrived, picked the dog up and threw him aside. Then he helped me up. My right elbow hurt a lot. The next day, the settlers attacked neighborhood homes again.
 
My shoulder and wrist still hurt, and my girls are anxious and stressed. They're afraid to sleep without me and wet the bed at night.

The following evening, 10 July 2021, at around 6:00 P.M., more than 10 teens from the settlement came to the neighborhood, escorted by about 10 soldiers. They threw stones at homes and provoked residents. Young men and teens from the neighborhood who were sitting on the street swore back at them and confronted the soldiers who were protecting the settlers.
 
That evening, at around 8:30 P.M., about five settlers entered the neighborhood, escorted by a soldier, and verbally confronted young residents. One of the settlers pepper-sprayed Muhammad al-Ja'bari (13) in the face. Some of the spray reached the face of his grandfather, Nasser al-Ja'bari (62), who was standing next to him. A military ambulance and a police cruiser arrived at the scene, and the two were given first aid. One of the officers suggested Nasser al-Ja'bari file a complaint with the police against the settler who had attacked him and his grandson, but he refused.

In a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari, Nasser al-Ja'bari recounted the settlers’ attack on 10 July 2021:

On Saturday, 10 July 2021, at around 8:00 P.M., I was on my way home when I saw five settlers between the ages of about 17 to 25, escorted by a soldier, harassing four or five young Palestinians from my extended family who were standing across from a barbershop opposite my house. The settlers were spitting at them. Meanwhile, more settlers arrived and a verbal argument developed. The settlers swore at the Palestinians and shouted that the houses belong to Jews, in the presence of the soldier who was with them and of several other soldiers who were on the street. When the young guys tried to respond, the soldier who was escorting the settlers cocked his weapon in their faces.

I tried to calm the guys down, because I was afraid the soldiers would shoot them. I also tried to persuade the settlers to move away. Meanwhile, my grandson Muhammad (13) arrived. Just then, one of the settlers turned around and pepper-sprayed him right in the face. I tried to protect Muhammad and some of the gas reached my face. I felt my eyes and face burning. Then a fight broke out between the young Palestinians and the settlers. The soldiers drove the Palestinians away and aimed their rifles at them. Many more settlers showed up and attacked the young guys, too. The soldiers tried to separate the guys from the settlers and moved the settlers away.

I went into a grocery store run by my brother, Bassem al-Ja'bari. My grandson Muhammad was already there. Some young guys were trying to help him and were washing his face with yogurt. A military ambulance arrived and the paramedics helped Muhammad. They put ointment on his face to ease the burning. A Red Crescent ambulance also arrived and the crew joined in the first aid. I was affected less badly than Muhammad. Meanwhile, an Israeli police car arrived and one of the officers suggested I file a complaint at an Israeli police station, but I saw no point. Settlers have attacked us dozens of times and I’ve filed complaints, all of which led to nothing. I thanked God it ended as it did. I was very scared when the soldiers, who were very agitated, pointed their weapons at the young guys. I was afraid they'd shoot them. There was no justification for the settlers' attack on the young guys. The night before, settlers had also attacked homes and passers-by in the neighborhood.

In a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari, neighborhood resident Muhammad al-Ja'bari (13) described the settlers’ attack on 10 July 2021:

I was sitting in my uncle's clothing store on the ground floor of our building. It’s on the main street of the neighborhood, which leads to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. I heard noises outside and went out to the street to see what was going on. I saw about six of my relatives confronting about five settlers, who had a soldier with them. I crossed the road towards them. When I got close, one of the settlers pepper-sprayed me right in the face. My face and eyes immediately started to burn. Two young Palestinians picked me up and carried me to the grocery store of another one of my uncles. My face was burning and I was crying from the pain the whole time. They put yogurt on my face. Meanwhile, my grandfather Nasser (62), who was also hit by the pepper spray, came in. The young guys in the grocery store treated him. He got less of the spray than I did. A military ambulance arrived and the paramedics sprayed something on my face that helped me. Then a Red Crescent ambulance came, too. After about two hours, I went home and changed clothes. My face and eyes are still stinging.

May 2021

21

Wadi al-Hasin, central Hebron: Settlers invade neighborhood escorted by two soldiers, stone homes, open live fire and attack resident in his yard with pepper spray and large stone

At around 8:30 P.M. on 21 May 2021, about 20 settlers, some of them armed, invaded the Wadi al-Hasin neighborhood of central Hebron.  The settlers, who were escorted by two soldiers, wandered among the homes and some fired live shots. This is not the first time settlers have attacked the neighborhood, which is surrounded by a fence separating it from the settlement of Kiryat Arba. B’Tselem documented a previous attack that took place in June 2020.

In this case, the settlers entered a home belonging to the extended Abu S’eifan family. One pepper-sprayed Hisham Abu S’eifan (52), a father of six, in the face, and another threw a stone that hit him in the chest.

The next day, two armed settlers entered the neighborhood again, causing fresh panic, and left. Hisham Abu S’eifan went to the police station in Kiryat Arba and filed a complaint over his assault on 21 May 2021.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari, Hisham Abu S’eifan recounted:

We live with three of our children in our apartment, and my mother and brothers live next door. Our homes are right by the fence that separates us from the settlement of Kiryat Arba. The settlers attack us all the time, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

The latest attack was on Friday, 21 May 2021, at around 8:30 P.M. I was sitting with my wife and kids when we heard shots. My wife ran to the window and said that setters were throwing stones at homes in the neighborhood. We went over to my mother’s house right away to make sure she was okay. Then my son Jamil (27) and I went back home and went out to the porch. We saw about 20 settlers, and some of them were shooting at houses. Residents were shouting “Allahu akbar” and some young guys from the neighborhood were throwing stones at the settlers. Suddenly, I saw the settlers go into our yard with two soldiers. We went outside and asked them to get out of the yard. I told them we had security cameras. One of the settlers kicked me in the leg. I pushed him and then he pepper-sprayed me in the face. Another settler threw a large stone at me, which hit me in the chest. It was very painful.

My face was burning and I found it hard to breathe. I fell down. Jamil helped me up and I washed my face with water, but the stinging and shortness of breath continued. My chest still hurt a lot.

 

Hisham’s brother, Jamal Abu S’eifan (50), who lives next door, also told B’Tselem what he recalled of that night:

I went out to the yard and saw a lot of settlers, some of them armed, attacking my brother Hisham’s house. There were two soldiers with them. The settlers were firing live shots at homes and residents were shouting “Allahu akbar”. Some of them were throwing stones at the settlers to get them away from the homes.

More soldiers arrived and made the settlers leave. I went over to Hisham’s house and saw him lying on the ground, screaming in pain. His son Jamil helped him get up and wash his face. Eight soldiers showed up, and one suggested that Hisham wash his face with milk. Then a Civil Administration official arrived and we told him what happened. He promised to take care of the matter and prevent the settlers from doing it again.

The soldiers left, but the settlers continued throwing stones at our homes from across the fence until about 10:00 P.M.

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Settler fires at Palestinians on a-Shalala Street. Photo courtesy of local residents
Settler fires at Palestinians on a-Shalala Street. Photo courtesy of local residents

A-Shalala Street, central Hebron: Dozens of settlers stone Palestinian homes in front of soldiers, one fires at home

On 17 May 2021, at around midday, dozens of settlers gathered on the rooftop of Beit Hadassah, a settlement in Hebron, and began throwing stones at Palestinian homes on a-Shalala Street and at their inhabitants. Soldiers who went up to the roof did nothing to stop the attack, while other soldiers entered a-Shalala Street and dispersed residents who had gathered there with stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets.

During the clashes, an armed settler fired live rounds at neighborhood resident Mahmoud Abu Hayah, who was standing on the roof of his home, but did not hit him. The incident was captured on video and posted on social media. Israeli police officers who came to the scene suggested Abu Hayah file a complaint and then left. The settlers continued throwing stones past midnight, but the soldiers remained and confronted residents on the street until morning.

In a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari on 3 June 2021, Mahmoud Abu Hayah (42), a married father of five from the a-Shalala neighborhood, described the settlers' attack on his home and on other Palestinian homes:

I live in the center of a-Shalala Street with my wife Nirmin and our five children. My house is right next to the Beit Hadassah settlement. I work in construction in 'Anata. On 17 May 2021, at around midday, I was sitting at home with my wife and our two small children when settlers from Beit Hadassah started throwing stones at our house, at neighboring homes and towards the street.

I went outside and climbed up to the roof with my camera to film what was happening. I saw more than 15 settlers on the roof of the Beit Hadassah settlement. Most of them were adults, and they were throwing stones. I called out to two soldiers

who were standing at an observation post on the roof of an abandoned building that overlooks a-Shalala Street by my house and Beit Hadassah. I heard one of the soldiers at the post say, "Everything's fine. It's all good." The settlers kept throwing stones right in front of the soldiers. Meanwhile, about five soldiers went up to the roof where the settlers were standing. One of them saw me filming, waved a stun grenade in front of me threateningly, and then hurled the grenade at the street.

Several residents and area shop owners had gathered on the street and were shouting at the settlers. I stayed on the roof and continued filming. I screamed at the settlers to stop throwing stones, and they responded with curses and insults and kept on throwing stones.

At one point, I hid among the water tanks to shield myself from the stones. My two sons also came up to the roof and started filming and broadcasting what was happening on Facebook. I called out to a military officer who was standing on a nearby rooftop, "Do you like that?" and he replied, in Arabic, "Living in the moment. Good night."

At around midnight, I was with my neighbor on the roof when residents of Tel Rumeidah started yelling from their roofs, to protest against the settlers' attacks. Just then, I saw a settler standing on the roof of Beit Hadassah and talking to a teenager who was standing next to him. Then the teen left and came back quickly with an M-16 rifle, which he handed to the adult settler. The settler took the rifle and cocked it. I didn't expect him to shoot and thought he was just trying to scare me. But suddenly, he fired in my direction from about 10 meters away. I was lucky I wasn’t hit. Even so, I stayed on the roof.

The settlers continued throwing stones on and off until nightfall, and clashes broke out on our street between soldiers and Palestinian youths.

That night, we didn't sleep at all until the pre-dawn meal before fasting began.

In a testimony she gave B'Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja'bari on 2 June 2021, Nirmin Abu Hayah (39), Mahmoud's wife and a volunteer with B'Tselem's camera project, recounted:

On 17 May 2021, at around midday, settlers from Beit Hadassah started throwing stones at our house and at neighboring homes on a-Shalala Street, including the house across the street from us.

There was nothing I could do but stand on the balcony and try to film them. At some point, the stones started hitting the roof and our window bars with such force that I closed the windows and backed away. The kids were terrified and started crying. I tried to calm them down, and then I suddenly heard gunshots that sounded really close.

I quickly climbed the stairs to the roof and started shouting, because I thought the settlers had shot my sons and husband who were up there. When I got there, my husband reassured me and told me they were fine and that the bullets had only hit the wall of the house. I begged my husband and sons to get off the roof so that they wouldn't get hurt, and they agreed. Meanwhile, a lot of soldiers and police officers arrived and one of the officers asked my husband to go file a complaint at the station. Then they left.

The settlers continued throwing stones at our house and at nearby houses until the meal before fasting began at around 3:00 A.M., and then they stopped. But the clashes with the soldiers continued until morning, and we could hear explosions and gunfire from the house.

My husband didn't file a complaint because of the attitude of the Israeli police. Every time we went to file a complaint in the past, we were forced to wait outside for a long time, and sometimes we weren't allowed in at all and had to give up.

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Routine in Hebron city center: Sexism, homophobia and harassment by settlers and soldiers: life’s routine in Hebron

Around 4:00 P.M on 13 May 2021, during 'Eid al-Fitr, about 10 settlers came up to the fence the military put up around the Palestinian neighborhood. They threw stones at Palestinian passersby on the street by the fence and at nearby homes, in full view of several soldiers who did nothing to stop them. Meanwhile, some 15 soldiers raided the Da'na family's home on the same street, claiming that a family member had thrown a stone from the roof. They searched the house, breaking a window and acting rudely. They also tried to prevent Mai Da'na, a volunteer with B'Tselem's camera distribution project who lives there, and her sister-in-law Manal al-Ja'bari, B'Tselem's field researcher in Hebron, from filming them, threatening to break the latter's camera.

After about an hour and a half, the soldiers left the house without making an arrest, and left the street without taking any action against the settlers, who continued to throw stones onto the street that same night, and throughout the following days. Settlers and soldiers also verbally harassed with homophobic and sexist slurs the Palestinians who documented their actions.

Background

The neighborhood of al-Harika is located in the southern part of Hebron’s city center (Area H2), and is home to some 3,000 Palestinians. In 1972, the settlement of Kiryat Arba was built next to the neighborhood and now has a population of about 7,000. The proximity of the settlement means that al-Harika residents suffer constant harassment by settlers, who are protected by the military. The attacks include verbal abuse, stone throwing and other forms of physical assault, and intensify on weekends and Jewish holidays.

The Palestinian neighborhood and the Israeli settlement are separated by a 1.5-kilometer-long mesh fence. Settlers routinely stand behind the fence and throw stones at four residential buildings on the other side. The buildings are home to the extended Da’na family, which has about 200 members, including some 60 children. In response, some residents from the neighborhood throw stones back. The clashes invariably end with the military coming to the aid of the settlers, hurling stun grenades and tear gas canisters at the Palestinian homes. B’Tselem has also documented past incidents of verbal sexual harassment by settlers against Palestinian residents.

In addition to the settler attacks, al-Harika’s residents suffer military raids on the neighborhood almost every day, carried out ostensibly in search of stone throwers. The soldiers throw stun grenades and tear gas canisters in the streets, and sometimes into homes as well. They stop children on the streets and interrogate them about stone throwing. Soldiers also invade homes late at night, wake up families and question children about stone throwing.

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Settlers throwing stones at the Geith neighborhood across the fence. Photo by Nael Fakhuri, 11.5.21
Settlers throwing stones at the Geith neighborhood across the fence. Photo by Nael Fakhuri, 11.5.21

Hebron city center: Settlers stone Palestinian residents; soldiers escorting them arrest B’Tselem volunteer for no reason, abuse him and release him two days later

On 11 May 2021, dozens of settlers attacked residents of the Gheith neighborhood in central Hebron and threw stones at them. The latter threw stones back. Soldiers ignored the settlers and hurled tear gas and stun grenades at the residents. At one point, settlers stoned neighborhood resident Nael Fakhuri, a B’Tselem volunteer who was passing by with his son and a neighbor. Six Border Police officers then arrested him. He was transferred between police stations, beaten by soldiers and released two days later after paying NIS 4,000.

Click here for more information

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Central Hebron: Teens from Beit Hadassah settlement stone Palestinian cars and pedestrians and swear at them

On 8 May 2021, at around 6:00 P.M., Israeli teenagers came from the settlement of Beit Hadassah to a-Shalala Street in central Hebron and climbed onto the rooftops of houses and of a bank. From there, they threw stones at the protective net that covers the street, frightened passers-by and swore at them. Soldiers at a military post there did not intervene despite requests by Palestinian residents. Only after the teens crossed the street and started throwing stones directly at vehicles and pedestrians, and after residents began throwing stones back at them, about eight soldiers came over and gently removed the settlers.

The stones the settlers threw hit an area shop owner in the leg and struck two vehicles, smashing the windshield in one and a headlight in the other.

In February 2021, during the Jewish holiday of Purim, B’Tselem documented settlers from Beit Hadassah throwing objects at a nearby house and cursing the inhabitants.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Musa Abu Hashhsash, the shop owner described the incident:

I was standing at the entrance to my shop when I saw a lot of settlers, most of them young, standing on the rooftops of stores on a-Shalala Street. They were swearing at passers-by and throwing stones. Soldiers who were in a military post a few meters away didn’t say a thing to them. It lasted more than 10 minutes. Neighborhood residents went to the soldiers and demanded they intervene, but they did nothing.

Some of the settlers moved to the roof of a bank across the street. From there, they continued to throw stones at people passing by below and at cars parked there. I was hit in the leg by a stone and then went inside my shop, so I wouldn’t get hurt. Only after a few minutes, about eight to ten soldiers arrived and made the settlers leave.

February 2021

28

Purim 2021 in central Hebron: Settlers from Beit Hadassah harass family and throw objects at nearby house. Later that day, settlers violently raid Wadi a-Nasarah neighborhood, smashing windows and trying to break into apartment

On Sunday afternoon, during the Jewish holiday of Purim, 28 February 2021, about 10 settlers, including men, women, and children, stood on the balcony of the settlement of Beit Hadassah in central Hebron. Some of them began throwing stones and bottles at the nearby Abu Haya family home and swore at its residents. Routine.

About an hour later, about 10 settlers, some holding liquor bottles, tried to enter the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi a-Nasarah, which lies several dozen meters away from the settlement of Kiryat Arba. Dozens of soldiers came to the scene and tried to block the settlers’ way without using any force. The settlers rioted and clashed with neighborhood residents who had come out of their homes and threw stones at the settlers to fend them off.

The settlers smashed the windshield of Thaer Da’na’s (21) car, and climbed over the gate of his family’s home in an attempt to break in. Immediately after, some 10 settlers entered the house next door and went up to its second floor. Wafa Da’na (44) and her nine young children were there at the time. The settles smashed a glass window in the front door with an iron bar, while other settlers standing on the street hurled stones at the house, smashing two of its windows and the glass door of the balcony. The settlers’ attempt to break into the apartment was ultimately unsuccessful and they were removed from the building by several soldiers about 10 minutes later.

The settlers remained in the neighborhood, rioting until around 6:30 P.M., and only then were they cleared out by the police.

That night, at around 3:00 A.M., several soldiers came to the neighborhood, entered homes, and arrested three residents, claiming settlers had filed complaints against them: Thaer Da’na, whose car was vandalized, Adham Da’na (33), a father of three, who was away from the neighborhood at the time of the incident, and Mustafa Da’na (20).  The following day, at around noon, the three were taken for interrogation at the Kiryat Arba police station and released a few hours later. Thaer Da’na was released on bail and a court hearing in his case was scheduled for about a year from now. The other two were released without charge.

The following testimonies were collected by B’Tselem field researchers Manal al-Ja’bari and Musa Abu Hashhsash regarding the severe incidents on Purim:

In her testimony, Narmin Abu Haya (39), a mother of five from central Hebron, spoke about how the harassment of her family by Beit Hadassah settlers, the hurling of objects, and the swearing:

On 28 February 2021, at around 3:00 P.M., we were sitting with my family at home, when we heard loud music and voices in Hebrew coming from the settlement of Beit Hadassah. I looked out the window and saw several settlers: men, women, and children of all ages, who were on the balcony of the settlement. When the settlers saw me, they started swearing at me, and Arabs in general, and throwing empty bottles at our house. All of this happened in front of the soldiers that were at the guard post near the settlement.  

For about four hours, the settlers threw stones, bottles and trash at our home. In the end, more soldiers came and approached the area, and then the settlers stopped throwing objects at us. But still, they continued dancing, screaming, and playing loud music into the night. It terrified my young children and bothered us all. We couldn’t sleep until late at night.

In her testimony, Wafa Da’na (41), a mother of nine and resident of Wadi a-Nasarah in Hebron, recalled the settlers’ violent attempted invasion of her home:

We constantly suffer from attacks by settlers from Kiryat Arba, who throw stones at our house and at the children on the street, especially on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The last incident happened on 28 February 2021, at around 5:30 P.M. I was at home and heard shouting. My children, Diaa (12) and Hamid (7) were outside, so I went out quickly and saw about 10 settlers in their twenties who were attacking homes on the street and damaging our neighbor’s car. I saw that the settlers were holding bottles, some empty and some full, and a few young guys from the neighborhood who were trying to drive them away.  

I gathered my children, we went inside, went up to the second floor, and closed the door. I was so scared that I pushed one of the sofas and blocked the door with it. I saw through the door’s glass window about 10 settlers who had come up the stairs and started hitting the door with an iron bar. They broke the door’s window. At the same time, stones hit the window facing the street, shattering the glass and the glass door of the balcony. The children started crying and screaming and trembling with fear. I tried to calm them down and took them to their room. I also started screaming from inside the door and calling for help. The settlers tried to open our front door for a few minutes until some soldiers went up and took them down to the street. They stayed in the street until the evening and then the soldiers and the police officers drove them away.

In her testimony, Thaer’s mother, S. (46), a mother of six from the Wadi a-Nasarah neighborhood of Hebron, recounted the moments of horror she experienced after the settlers’ attack:

I went out of the house with the children when I heard shouting in Hebrew. Neighborhood residents and about eight settlers in their twenties were out in the street. I think they were drunk because some of them were holding empty liquor bottles. I saw them breaking some masonry and throwing stones at the windshield of my son’s car, which was parked in front of our home. I saw several settlers fighting with my son Thaer, while others tried to attack my son Bilal (18), but I managed to get him away from them. Four soldiers tried to arrest Bilal and tore his shirt, but I wrestled him away from them, too. I took him inside the house and closed the door.

At around 3:00 A.M., I woke up to loud knocking on the door. I woke up my three sons and told them to get dressed because I assumed these were soldiers raiding our home. I opened the door and about 10 soldiers went in and spread out in the house. They didn’t find the boys because they ran out the back door after I woke them. A few minutes later, three soldiers came, holding my three sons, and then they led Thaer out of the house. My sister-in-law and I tried to wrestle Thaer away from them and followed them out into the street, but we were unsuccessful. I saw that the soldiers had arrested more young men. I was worried about Thaer. He’s nearly blind in one eye and about a week ago, he fell and broke his hand.  

The soldiers took him and the other young men to the police station in Kiryat Arba, even though the police officers saw Thaer’s car that the settlers had vandalized.

In his testimony, Adham Da’na (33), a father of four from the Wadi a-Nasarah neighborhood of Hebron, described his false arrest following a complaint by settlers who raided his neighborhood:

On 28 February 2021, at around 6:30 P.M., I came back from work. The neighbors told me that settlers had attacked homes and cars. I went home and went to sleep early. At around 3:00 A.M., I heard knocking on the door and soldiers shouting, “Open up!”. The soldiers asked if I was Adham and told me to bring my ID card, and then a soldier told me that they were going to arrest me. They led me outside and put me in a jeep with two people in it – at first, I didn’t recognize them because of the blindfolds they put on them, but later I realized it was Thaer and Mustafa Da’na. The jeep drove us to the police station in Kiryat Arba.

They kept us at the station until the next day, and only started interrogating us at around noon. I was interrogated first – they accused me of attacking the settlers that came into the neighborhood. I denied it, of course, and told them that I didn’t get home from work until 6:30 P.M., and when I arrived, everything was calm and there were no settlers. The interrogator didn’t believe me and said that settlers had filed a complaint against me. I again explained to them that I wasn’t there during the incident and that they can look at the photos and videos that the residents had filmed. After more than an hour, I was released without charge. I waited until 5:00 P.M., and then they released the other two. I understood from Thaer that he was released on bail, without depositing money, and that they’d scheduled a trial for him in a year.

January 2021

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A shattered window in the Idris family home, Khallet a-Natash, 16 Jan. 2021. Photo by Rajaai Tarif
A shattered window in the Idris family home, Khallet a-Natash, 16 Jan. 2021. Photo by Rajaai Tarif

Khallet a-Natash, east of Hebron: Settlers continue to stone Palestinian home despite repeated complaints to police

For three days, from 16 to 18 January 2021, settlers repeatedly attacked the home of Rajaai Idris (37), his wife ‘Aishah Tarif-Idris (36) and their six children in the neighborhood of Khallet a-Natash, east of Hebron. The settlers, some of whom were masked, arrived in the morning and in the evening and shattered five of the home’s windows. Rajaai Idris called the Israel Police with every new attack, but the officers arrived late or not at all. Idris even sent the police video footage of the attacks. The officers suggested he file a complaint at the police station and on 25 January 2021, he went to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. Idris was made to wait two hours until he was allowed into the station and an officer registered his complaint.

However, on the evening of 1 February 2021, settlers again came to the house and stoned it, some using slingshots, smashing several of its windows. Idris called the police, who again arrived after the settlers had left, about half an hour after the call. The officers photographed the stones the settlers had thrown on the roof and inside the house, as well as the shattered windows. They again suggested Idris file a complaint at the police station, yet he chose not to do so as the exercise was futile.   

The outpost of Giv’at Gal, which serves as a neighborhood of the settlement of Kiryat Arba, was established in 2014 less than 100 meters away from Khallet a-Natash. Since then, settlers have been attacking area farmers and preventing them from accessing their land.

In a testimony she gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 3 February 2021, ‘Aishah Tarif-Idris (36) described the settlers’ attacks and the futility of going to the police:

I live with my husband Rajaai and our six children – Zuhour (14), Qusai (12), Nisan (9), Sai’d (4), Usayed (3) and baby Awais, who’s less than a month old – in a two-story building in Khallet a-Natash. We live in one apartment and my husband’s parents and siblings live in the other four.     

Since the outpost was built, we’ve been suffering regularly from attacks by young settlers who throw stones at our home. It has a really bad effect on our children, who have recently started wetting themselves and are afraid to sleep alone in their beds. They all insist on sleeping in our bed.

On 16 January 2021, around midday, I came home from hospital after giving birth to Awais. We were so happy. I was exhausted, and all I wanted was to sleep and rest. But then settlers showed up and started throwing stones at our house. It continued the next day and the day after that, on 17 and 18 January. The settlers came in the morning and in the evening and threw stones at the building. The kids were terrified, and I was frightened and exhausted.  

On 1 February 2021, at around 3:30 P.M., settlers again showed up. They were a group of 16 or 17 year old and they started throwing stones at our home with slingshots. The stones hit the roof and windows, and the kids started crying. I tried to calm them down, while my husband tried to film what was happening on his cell phone. He called the Israel Police and two officers arrived half an hour later, but the settlers had left by then.

The officers saw the shattered windows and the stones on the roof. One of them, who introduced himself as Fuad and spoke fluent Arabic, took photos of the stones and the windows. He asked my husband not to touch the stones because they wanted to collect them, as they had the settlers’ fingerprints on them. The officers asked my husband to go to the police station in Kiryat Arba and file a complaint, but he didn’t go. It’s useless. Not to mention the fact that they make him wait outside for hours on end, or how badly he’s treated there every time he goes to file a complaint.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 26 January 2021, Rajaai Idris described the settlers’ repeated attacks and the false promises given by the police:

Since they built the outpost of Giv’at Gal we’ve been suffering repeated attacks by settlers, along with our relatives who live next door. Sometimes they throw stones at our homes, and at other times they prevent us from going to our farmland, which is close to here. It’s especially bad during the olive harvest season, when the settlers do as they please on our land and the Civil Administration only allows us to access it for two days.

Over the last month, the settlers’ attacks have intensified. It used to happen only on weekends and on Jewish holidays. But this year, settler kids between the ages of 12 and 17 have started throwing stones at our homes almost every day. It terrifies the children. The sound of the stones hitting the roof or the windows is petrifying. Every time it happens, I call the Israel Police. I’ve already filed dozens of complaints at the police station in Kiryat Arba, but it’s useless. There’s also a military guard post at the top of the hill, and all the attacks happen right before the eyes of the two soldiers stationed there. Filing a complaint is a nightmare in itself, because they make me wait for hours in front of the station until they let me in, and sometimes they don’t let me in at all.

In one of the attacks in January, two officers showed up after I called the police, and one of them introduced himself as Erez. They took photos of the windows and the stones, and Erez promised me they would stop the settlers’ attacks. He gave me a phone number so I could report to him and send him video footage of the attacks. I did that, but the attacks didn’t stop. Yesterday, I went to the police station and waited for over two hours until they let me in. The officer who received me was very irritated with me and demanded I show him ownership documents for the land we live on and a permit from the Civil Administration that we’re allowed to be in the area. I told him I was there to file a complaint and not present permits for my right to live in my own home. I asked him to call the officer Erez, so he’d explain to him that this was a real incident. He called him, and Erez must have sent him the video. About 15 minutes later, he took my statement and then I went home, exhausted.

October 2020

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Shaker a-Tamimi at his plot after discovering settlers had harvested all of his trees, east of Hebron, 17 Oct. 2020. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B’Tselem.
Shaker a-Tamimi at his plot after discovering settlers had harvested all of his trees, east of Hebron, 17 Oct. 2020. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B’Tselem.

East of Hebron: Settlers harvest entire olive grove near Givat Gal outpost and steal the fruit

On 17 October 2020, Shaker a-Tamimi (70), a father of ten from the Jabal Jales neighborhood in central Hebron, went to an olive grove he and his brother own. The grove spans 20 dunams [1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters], and the settlement outpost of Givat Gal was established right next to it. When Tamimi and his family got to the grove, they discovered that all the trees had already been harvested, and went home empty-handed.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al Ja’bari on 24 October 2020, Tamimi discussed the theft of his olives:  

The settlers do as they please in our land: walk around with soldiers guarding them, put up shacks, raise livestock and even plant trees in the part that’s close to the settlement. It isn’t the first time they’ve stolen our olives. The military doesn’t allow me into the land without prior coordination, but I ignore that demand and go there whenever I want. It’s my land. I bought it about 40 years ago.

About two weeks ago, we went to the grove to check on the trees, and they had a reasonable amount of olives on them. A week later, we went back and discovered there were almost no olives left. The remaining amount wasn’t worth the work. We went home empty-handed.

We used to harvest about three tons of olives, which can yield 30 jerricans of olive oil and pickled olives. It was enough for my family and for my brothers’ families. We also gave some to friends. This year, we will have to buy olive oil and olives. 

September 2020

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Hebron: Israeli teens stone Palestinian home in Hebron and harass female owner

The Da’na family lives in the Al-Harika neighborhood of Hebron, next to which the settlement of Kiryat Arba was established in 1972. The residents of the neighborhood have been suffering from repeated attacks and harassment by settlers and daily raids by soldiers, as documented by B’Tselem. On 11 September 2020, youth from the settlement stoned the family’s home. When Mai Da’na began to film the attack from the window of her home, the settlers swore at her and undressed in front of her.

August 2020

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Even on a high holiday: Settlers attack Abu Shamsiyeh family in Tel-Rumeidah, central Hebron

 

On Saturday, 1 August 2020, 'Imad (50) and Fayzeh (46) Abu Shamsiyeh’s married children, ‘Awni (21) and Madlyn (22), paid a festive visit to their parents to mark the second day of ‘Eid al-Fitr. They came with their spouses and children to the family home, which lies in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeidah in central Hebron.  

At around midday, Marwa Abu Shamsiyeh (16) took her niece Rital (1.5) to the grocery store to buy sweets for all the children. On their way back, a group of about 10 young settlers between the ages of 10 and 15 began harassing the two girls. Marwa picked Rital up and kept walking home, at which point one of the teens grabbed her hair. The others then gathered around, kicking her, hitting her and spitting at her – and one even tried to snatch the toddler from her arms.

‘Awni, who was sitting by his parent’s house with a friend, heard his sister and niece screaming and rushed to their aid. He pushed the settler children to get them off the two girls. Only at that late stage did a soldier from the nearby Gilbert Checkpoint intervene: he ordered ‘Awni and his relatives to go home.

The family heard the commotion and Fayzeh, Salah (14) and Madlyn went outside. The same children started throwing stones and glass bottles at them, wounding Madlyn in the leg and Salah in the hand. Meanwhile, dozens of settlers gathered near the family home. Four soldiers arrived and tried to keep them at bay.

The family fled indoors, as several settlers climbed onto the roof of their home and others surrounded it. Given the rising tension, some 30 soldiers and Civil Administration officials arrived, as well as police officers in five vehicles. The security forces sent the settlers away but they remained nearby. About 15 minutes later, soldiers entered the family home and arrested ‘Awni. The settlers cheered as they drove him away to the police station in Kiryat Arba. Soldiers and settlers continued to linger around the house for about three hours.

One of the soldiers questioned Marwa, inside the house, about the incident. He then drove her, along with her mother, to the police station to file a complaint against the settlers. The police accused ‘Awni of assaulting the settlers and ordered him to pay 500 NIS (~148 USD). He refused and after the officers watched footage of the incident, they waived the payment. The three family members were released about three hours later.

In a testimony she gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari, Marwa Abu Shamsiyeh related what she underwent during the holiday:

At around 2:30 P.M., I took Rital to the grocery store to buy things for the kids. The store is at the top of the hill in our neighborhood opposite the settlement of Ramat Yishai. On our way home, I saw 15 or so settlers, about 10 to 15 years old, near the Gilbert checkpoint. A soldier was standing at the checkpoint. I got nervous, so I picked Rital up and kept walking home.

The settlers started doing impressions of my father, who has a limp. I ignored them and kept walking because I was afraid for Rital. Then one of them pulled my hair from behind. They surrounded me and started kicking me and hitting me. One of them tried to snatch Rital from my arms.

Rital started screaming and crying. I screamed, too, until my brother ‘Awni showed up. He started pushing the settlers to get them off me. The soldier by the checkpoint did nothing when the settlers attacked me, but when ‘Awni arrived he suddenly tried to get him away from the settlers and ordered us to leave.

 We tried to leave, but the settlers attacked us again. I ran home with Rital and told my mother what was going on. I asked her to go and help ‘Awni. My mother, Madlyn and Salah went outside and started yelling at the settlers. In the end, everyone came back inside.

Then, soldiers suddenly came into our house and arrested ‘Awni. After that, another soldier came and questioned me about what had happened. I told him the settlers had attacked me and tried to snatch Rital. Then a police officer came and said he’d take me to the police station in Kiryat Arba. My mother demanded to come along and he agreed.

They took us by jeep to the station and kept us waiting in the yard for about 15 minutes. A police officer led me into a room where they were holding ‘Awni in handcuffs, and then he took me to another room. He interrogated me for about half an hour while my mother waited outside.

‘Awni's interrogator told us we had to pay 500 shekels. My mother got angry and told the officers that the settlers were the ones who attacked us, and that we wanted to file a complaint against them. After we filed the complaint, the interrogator watched surveillance footage and saw that the settlers had attacked us. He agreed to release ‘Awni without a fine.

About three hours later, a jeep drove us back to a-Shuhada Street. We got home tired and upset because they ruined our holiday.

‘Awni Abu Shamsiyeh gave his account of the incident to field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari:

I was sitting with a friend on the street in front of our house. Suddenly, I heard my sister Marwa screaming. I ran over to her and saw about 15 settlers between the ages of 10 and 15 gathered around her. She was holding Rital and one of them was pulling at her hair. Another kid was trying to snatch Rital. The girls were screaming and crying, and Marwa was trying to hold onto Rital while they kicked her and spat at her.

I tried to get them off Marwa and Rital. Then a soldier who was sitting at the Gilbert checkpoint, who hadn't intervened when they attacked Marwa, ordered me to take the girls and get out of there.

We started walking home but the settlers attacked us again. Marwa ran home with Rital. A few minutes later, my mother came out of the house with Madlyn and Salah, and they started yelling at the settlers to make them leave. The settlers started throwing stones and glass bottles at us. They injured Madlyn in the leg and Salah in the hand. At that point, four soldiers showed up and tried to make the settlers leave.

In the end, my family and I managed to get inside and close the front door, but some settlers climbed up to our roof. About 50 others surrounded the house, shouting and trying to break in.

Then a lot of soldiers and police officers showed up and managed to remove the settlers. About 15 minutes later, soldiers came to the house and asked about me. They said they were going to arrest me. My mother tried to stop them, but they pushed her and took me outside. My mother, Marwa, Madlyn and Salah ran after me. The soldiers led me to the entrance to the nearby settlement of Ramat Yishai. There, they handcuffed me while the settlers tried to attack me again.

They drove me to the police station in Kiryat Arba, where I was interrogated and accused of hitting the settlers. I told them it wasn’t true and asked them to get the footage from the soldiers’ cameras to see what really happened. I said the settlers had attacked us.

The interrogator said he’d release me after I paid 500 shekels. But my mother, who had come to the station, refused and told the officers that the settlers were the ones who attacked us and that we wouldn't leave until we filed a complaint against them.

After they brought the camera footage, the interrogator watched it and decided to release me without a fine. After about three hours of interrogation and waiting in the heat in the station yard, a police jeep dropped us off at a-Shuhada Street. From there, we went home. I had bruises and wounds on my hand. We were tired and upset because the settlers ruined our holiday gathering.

Filmed by: تجمع المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان - Human Rights Defenders.

June 2020

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Settlers assault Ibrahim Bader on his way home. Hebron, 12 June 2020. Photo: Zidan a-Sharabati
Settlers assault Ibrahim Bader on his way home. Hebron, 12 June 2020. Photo: Zidan a-Sharabati

Central Hebron: One had his nose broken, the other was beaten and had to wait in the street until the attacked ended. Two brothers were assaulted the same day by different groups of settlers.

On Friday, 12 June 2020, Muhammad Bader was sitting at his doorstep in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeidah. Bader (26), a married father of two toddlers, lives in central Hebron, where settlers’ provocations have become a daily routine. It was around 4:00 P.M. when he noticed four settlers trying to grab a cart that one of his neighbors uses for work. He asked them to leave it alone. Three of the settlers left the cart and began to beat Bader. Then, one of them pulled a heavy object from his pocket and punched Bader in the nose with it. The settlers then fled towards a-Shuhada Street. When Bader and his father tried to chase their attackers, a soldier cut them off by the military base nearby.

A few minutes later, Bader passed out. Soldiers from the base gave him first aid and called for an ambulance, which took him to ‘Aliyah Hospital in Hebron. There, he was examined and X-rayed, and diagnosed with a broken nose.

Bader was discharged at around 10:00 P.M that night.

Muhammad’s brother, Ibrahim Bader (31), was also attacked by settlers that day. At around 11:00 P.M., Ibrahim crossed the Bab a-Zawiya checkpoint (known as “Checkpoint 56”) on his way home. Suddenly, about eight settlers pounced on him and started beating him. Ibrahim tried to run back to the checkpoint, but the settlers chased him and continued to beat him there. A soldier who was at the checkpoint tried to help him get away from the settlers, but found it hard to do so. He advised Bader to wait on the other side of the checkpoint until the settlers left. Ibrahim complied and waited there for about a half an hour.

A resident of Hebron who had captured the incident on camera called Ibrahim to tell him the police had arrived. Ibrahim went back to the spot where he had been attacked and gave his testimony to the officers. They offered to pick him up from home the following day and take him to the station to file a complaint – which they did.

Central Hebron: Dozens of settlers, armed with stones, raid wadi al-Hasin neighborhood

The settlement of Giv’at Ha’avot was established about 70 meters from the neighborhood of Wadi al-Hasin in Hebron. Due to this proximity (and full military backing), the settlers allow themselves to invade the Palestinian neighborhood and do as they please in it. On Friday evening, 12 June 2020,  about 30 settlers arrived at Wadi al-Hasin. They wandered among the houses and left after a few minutes. About two hours later, they returned to the neighborhood and began throwing stones at parked cars. Dozens of residents came out to defend their property, and threw stones at the settlers to make them leave.

Neighborhood resident 'Abd al-Karim al-Ja’bari (61) quickly called a Civil Administration officer to report what was happening, and he arrived within minutes. Two police officers soon followed, accompanied by about 30 soldiers. The forces tried to separate the settlers from the residents. The settlers initially withdrew to a plot of land behind the al-Ja’bari family’s home and continued to throw stones at the road and at houses. After about half an hour, they left the area.

Over the course of the attack, the settlers shattered the windshields of four vehicles. Two of the owners, including the al-Ja’bari family, filed complaints at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

'Abd al-Karim al-Ja’bari, a married father of 13, described the incursion to B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari:

My grandson Muhammad (9) ran over to me yelling “Settlers! Settlers!”. I went to the doorstep and saw about 20 settlers approaching our house. When they spotted me, they turned and went in another direction. The settlers were wandering around without a military escort.

At around 8:30 P.M., I heard shouting. I rushed outside and saw about 30 settlers, probably the same group as before, but there more of them. I saw them throw stones at cars parked by my house. My relatives came out and started yelling. A few of them started throwing stones at the settlers to keep them away.

I called an officer of the Civil Administration, and he arrived within five minutes. After a few minutes, two police officers and about 30 soldiers arrived, as well. The forces tried to calm the situation down and remove the settlers. They ordered us to get back inside and told the settlers to go back to their homes. In the end, the settlers left. Then we began assessing the damage they had caused.

May 2020

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Settler children swearing and pounding on the Abu 'Eishah family's door, 18 May 2020
Settler children swearing and pounding on the Abu 'Eishah family's door, 18 May 2020

Tel Rumeidah, central Hebron: Settler minors attack 12-year-old Palestinian walking with father on street

The Abu ‘Eishah family, which consists of ten people, lives in the Tel Rumeidah neighborhood of Hebron. Their home is known by the unfortunate nickname “the cage house”, as they had to install bars and screens on the doors and windows to protect themselves from settlers. The house is located far away from the other Palestinian homes in the neighborhood. In 1984, the urban settlement of Admot Yishai was established right next to it.

Since the settlement was established, the family has suffered incessant harassment by settlers and the military.

On Monday, 18 May 2020, Taysir Abu ‘Eishah (58) and his son Haitham (12) were making their way home from the family’s clothing store. After they crossed the Tel Rumeidah (Gilbert) checkpoint, they passed by about ten children and youths from the settlement. One of them pushed Haitham to the ground. The father alerted a soldier who was standing a few meters away, but the soldier refused to intervene and ordered Abu ’Eishah and his son to go home.

The two continued on their way and the children chased after them, shoving, swearing and spitting at them. When Abu ‘Eishah tried to protect his son from a youth who pushed him, an adult settler emerged from an adjacent house and pushed Abu ‘Eishah in the chest. At that point, one of the soldiers there tried to keep the settlers at bay and radioed for backup. Meanwhile, Abu ‘Eishah took off his belt and started waving it to fend off the settlers. Then, about six more soldiers arrived. They dispersed the settlers and ordered Abu ‘Eishah and his son to go into their house.

After the father and son went inside and closed the door, the youths started pounding on the doors and windows. They spat at the windows, swore at the family and insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Abu ‘Eishah called out yet again to one of the soldiers and demanded that they remove the youths. Eventually, adults from the settlement arrived and took them away.

About half an hour later, an Israel Police patrol car arrived. Abu ‘Eishah told the officers what had happened. The officers promised to come back and collect footage from the family’s security cameras – yet never did so. That night, an Israeli DCO officer called Abu ‘Eishah’s brother and asked that they send him the footage by mobile phone. After Abu ‘Eishah’s son sent the footage, the family never heard back from the DCO or from the Israel Police.

Since they have given up hope of the police helping against settler violence, the family chose not to file a complaint at the station.  

In a testimony he gave to B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 19 May 2020, Taysir Abu ‘Eishah described the terrifying reality his family has to endure:

We’re the only Palestinian family living here, right in the middle of the Admot Yishai settlement. The settlers often attack us. On 28 March 2020, a settler stole the security camera that B’Tselem installed at our house to document these attacks. On 24 April, a settler threw a stone at my brother Walid and injured his hand.

I didn’t go to the police station to file a complaint about our attack because when they injured Walid, he went to the station and the officers told him he couldn’t make a complaint due to the coronavirus.

April 2020

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Soldiers ordering Palestinians to move to the other side of the separation fence in the Gheith neighborhood in Hebron
Soldiers ordering Palestinians to move to the other side of the separation fence in the Gheith neighborhood in Hebron

Hebron city center: Settlers attack youths playing soccer with pepper spray and beat them

For a group of Palestinian youths, a casual soccer game in central Hebron ended in hospital after action-hungry settlers brutally attacked them. The incident took place on Sunday evening, 12 April 2020, in the Gheith neighborhood in the city center. At around 8:00 P.M., some 15 young Palestinians were playing soccer in front of the Bakery Checkpoint (southeast of al-Haram al-Ibrahimi and the Tomb of the Patriarchs) when a car with Israeli license plates sped towards them from a-Shuhada Street and came to a screeching halt next to them. Four settlers got out and started pushing the youths. When they tried to defend themselves, two settlers pepper-sprayed and beat them. 

Two Border Police officers arrived from the direction of the Bakery Checkpoint and three of the settlers managed to escape uncaught, while the fourth was detained.

Some 15 more officers arrived and ordered neighborhood residents who had started gathering to move over to the other side of the fence, locking the gate behind them. The military installed the fence in the neighborhood in 2017 to make the street available to settlers only, leaving Palestinians a narrow, unpaved passage.

Two youths who were injured, one 16 and the other 21, were taken by a Red Crescent ambulance to the Muhammad al-Muhtaseb Hospital in the city center. 
 

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