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Israeli army abducts shepherds in At-Tuwani

Israeli army abducts shepherds in At-Tuwani
from Christian Peacemaker Teams 15 April 2007


Israeli Defense Force soldiers abducted two Palestinian shepherds from their fields today near the Israeli settlement outpost Avigail.

The shepherds, Usef Ibrahim Abed Mur, of Imneizel, and Muhammed Jihad Halil Abu Aram, of Qawawis, were grazing on Palestinian land. The arrests occurred after Yacov Dalia, a settler from the area invited soldiers onto the land and argued that the land is owned by the State of Israel.

Soldiers arrested Ibrahim at approximately 11:00 am, and Jihad at 3:30 PM. The soldiers blindfolded and took the shepherds without warning, and without allowing them time to secure their flocks. Ibrahim was grazing by himself, and a shepherd from the Palestinian village of Jinba collected his sheep for him. Both detainees were released at 7:00 am Sunday night from the military base at Susiya.

On Sunday, April 14, IDF soldiers detained seven-year-old Maher Ahmed Moussa Ibnes and his cousin, sixteen year old Ndal Samir Moussa Ibnes in nearby Imneizel. At approximately 9:00 am Maher Ahmed Moussa Ibnes was grazing sheep on Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Beit Yatir when a stone he threw to move the sheep hit the settlement fence.

At approximately 9:00 am Israeli Defense Forces arrived at the boy’s home. They informed the family that they had surveillance video of the boy throwing a stone at the settlement and insisted on taking him into custody. His cousin, Nadal Samir was allowed to accompany him in the military jeep, which took both boys to the checkpoint at Beit Yatir. The boys’ families, and members of the community of Imneizel, followed on foot to the checkpoint. IDF soldiers informed the family that they would release seven-year-old Ndal Samir, but would arrest his cousin, Nadal Samir, who was not present at the alleged incident, and did not appear on the surveillance tape.

IDF soldiers then blindfolded Nadal Samir and transported him to the military base at Susiya. He was released about two and a half hours later in response to calls from a representative of the Red Cross.

The first such incident in recent days took place on March 18, when soldiers detained five shepherds at Beit Yatir. Soldier took the shepherds, Jihad Ibrahim Mor, Mohamed Halil Suliman Rashid, Ahmed Mohamed Halil Rashid, Ezhaq Ahmed Ali Hrezat and Samir Ahmed Mohamed Hrezat, to the army base at Susiya and released them in the early evening.

For more information, contact:
Heidi Schramm, 0543065897