Settlers with military escort uproot utility pole installed by Palestine Electric Company and attack village resident (71), Jalud, Nablus District
On 15 October 2020, residents of Jalud discovered that settlers had cut down a utility pole installed by the village council to provide electricity to homes in the southeastern part of the village. One of the homes belongs to Walid Shweiki (71), a father of seven.
On 3 April 2021, workers from the Palestine Electric Company (PEC) came to the spot with council representatives and neighborhood residents in order to install a new pole. At around midday, several settlers arrived from the direction of the Esh Kodesh and Ahiya outposts, established several hundred meters away. The settlers told the residents that the land belongs to them. Some 15 minutes later, about 20 more masked settlers arrived, running. The residents and the PEC workers fled and the settlers attacked Shweiki, who remained alone.
Two soldiers who were escorting the settlers ordered Shweiki to leave and led him away. The settlers uprooted the utility pole and shattered the windshield of a resident’s car parked nearby.
The settlers thereby ensured, with military assistance, that Shweiki and his neighbors would be forced to continue living without electricity.
In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i, Walid Shweiki (71) recounted the attack:
While the laborers were working, several settlers came from the direction of the outpost, which is about 300 meters away. One of them said, “What are you doing here? This isn’t your land!” Then an argument developed over who owns the land. The settlers said it’s theirs and that our land is in Saudi Arabia. When they saw we were ignoring them and not leaving, one of them said, “Now we’ll bring more people to get you out of here.” I saw one of them talking on the phone.
After 10 or 15 minutes, I saw about 20 masked settlers running towards us from the east. The council head and the other residents ran away and I was left alone with the settlers. It was the first time I’d ever seen anything like it. I wanted to get away from there, too, but I’m elderly and can’t walk fast or run. The settlers ran towards me and started throwing stones at me. One of them hit me with a club and tried to knock me down, but I stayed standing. Another threw a large stone at me and I pushed it away with my hands.
There were two or three soldiers there, and one of them said to me, “Go on, get out of here.” I asked him, “Don’t you see what they’re doing?” He said, again, “Go on, get out of here.” Meanwhile, the settlers kept shouting and throwing stones at me and the soldiers did nothing to them. Two soldiers walked with me for about 60 meters until I was some way away from the settlers. Meanwhile, the settlers uprooted the utility pole and threw it on the ground in front of the soldiers.
I went home and shut the door and the windows. I was scared the settlers would come after me. Then I drove to my family, who were in Jerusalem. Since the settlers cut down the utility pole in October, I’ve had no electricity at home and it’s impossible to live there.