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Settlers Attack Olive Pickers in Tel Rumeida

Armed settlers from Tel Rumeida today repeatedly attacked 4 Palestinian families as they tried to harvest their olives in Tel Rumeida today.

The Palestinians, accompanied by 4 members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams and 3 ISMers were initially attacked in the morning, by a group of settler kids throwing stones.

By the afternoon, Baruch Marzel and three other adult settlers with assault rifles arrived. One of the settlers (wearing plain clothes) produced a military I.D. and demanded that the Palestinians and internationals left the olive groves and one of the families’ houses near which some of them were standing. They began yelling, throwing stones at, and pushing the internationals. Meanwhile three soldiers arrived and forced the Palestinians to leave the olive groves, whilst ignoring the violence of the settlers. During this, several people were hit with stones and an Australian woman from the ISM was pushed and slapped.

Once the settlers had forced everyone to retreat behind the house of one of the Palestinian families, they broke into the house and started to destroy it. They began throwing its contents and the rubble they created at the Palestinians and internationals outside.

Eventually 10 police and border police officers arrived (who had been called to the scene by one of the Palestinian men). The Palestinians then complained about the attacks they had suffered and at the failure of the soldiers present to even attempt to protect them. Once told that there was also video evidence to support these complaints, the police promptly arrested the Palestinian lawyer who was speaking with them. The settlers were not arrested.