Farmers in Salem, near Nablus, were joined on Friday the 7th of April by Israeli and international human rights workers to protect against further settler violence. Earlier in the week a 68 year-old villager was beaten by settlers and required hospitalization. Rabbis for Human Rights, members of the Kibbutzim movement, and internationals accompanied the farmers in an effort to enable the farmers to plow their land, tend to their olive trees and graze their sheep free from harm.
Fifty farmers and human rights workers took to the hills mid morning and were met almost immediately by a settler security truck. Two settlers blocked a Palestinian tractor from accessing a nearby field by parking their van on the track. The settlers were refusing to move when about five army vehicles and an Israeli police car arrived (further blocking the road and supporting the settlers). A second tractor arrived and was similarly blocked. When some villagers tried to circumvent the army and settler van in their tractor one of the settlers stood in front of it. Despite the repeated efforts of villagers and their supporters we were unable to get tractor access to the field in order to plow. The two settlers generally harrased the farmers driving through flocks of grazing sheep and continuously arguing. After a few hours (approx 1:30pm) we heard word of house occupations in Nablus and left. Some of the Israeli demonstrators were planning to stay as long as possible to observe army and settlers and help with farm work.