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Tel Rumeida: Slouching Towards Annexation

July 11th, 2007. At 23.30 two Human Rights Workers (HRWs) and four Israelis were at the house of a Palestinian man whose house is being rebuilt after it was vandalized by settlers. The HRW’s and the Israelis have been sleeping in the house for the last week to prevent further attacks from the settlers in Tel Rumieda. Tonight a female settler entered the Palestinian’s land and stole a sign which read “private property”.

The Israelis tried to talk to the female settler but she ran away, up to the settlement where she was supported by other settlers and soldiers. The Palestinian owner of the house called the police and within ten minutes six policemen were at the scene.

The settlers claimed that part of the land belongs to them, and that the Palestinian man is only allowed to use some parts of the land. The female settler, accompanied by other female settlers, continued shouting: “ He cannot go further than the terrace”.

The Palestinian man asked the police if it was possible to sit down and discuss the situation. They did this outside in front of the house. One of the police officers suggested that the Palestinian man lay a complaint at the police station, right away, and then to “be smart, not right” until the Israeli court passes a judgment on the borders of the land. Things might escalate and to prevent further attacks and potential violence it is better to take a step back. This is a seemingly odd statement considering that it is the settlers, not the Palestinian man, who are carrying guns.