by ISM Nablus, December 5th
On Sunday the 4th of December, a group of Israeli residents of Yitzhar colony attacked farmers from Urif, a small village south of Nablus, while they were harvesting their olives on land adjacent to the village itself. This area is not normally considered to be a high-risk area due to its close proximity to Palestinian houses but this did not deter the colonists who, brandishing rocks and sticks, proceeded to yell insults and chase the olive pickers down the hill. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained.
Israeli police were not present as the area is, as mentioned, not considered a security priority. On Monday, there were also no police in the area despite the recent attack but two solidarity workers – one international from ISM and the Palestinian coordinator for Rabbis for Human Rights – accompanied the families to their fields. Visibly frightened, the farmers flinched and started rolling up their tarpaulins at the slightest sight of the Israeli colonists patrolling the perimeter of Yitzhar at the top of the hill. Luckily, the day’s work proceeded without incident and the villagers estimate that they will have finished harvesting in a few days.