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Settlers Have Continued to Occupy Palestinian Land and Attack Palestinians While Police and Soldiers Stand By and Watch

Jan 10-12

Settlers have been occupying the Jabr land near Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron. They were supposed to have left as of tonight, but it is unconfirmed whether that has actually happened.

At least 30 young settlers have been present on the land these days and have continued to use large stones to build paths and structures and to block the road beside the land. Despite a previous Israeli high court order affirming this as Palestinian-owned land, Israeli Border Police and Military stood by and watched.

Local residents said settlers were present at the site during the nights as well, and that in the morning they chase Palestinian children as they return from school.

Today the settlers placed themselves on both sides of the road, attempting to stop Palestinians using the road, and forcing them to take a long detour through muddy ground. When Palestinians chose to take the road, settlers chased them, threw stones, and in one case hit a 50yr old woman in the chest with their fists. They also verbally abused Palestinians and shoved HRWs and grabbed at their cameras.

Settlers also occupied an empty building beside the land, where they seemed to be storing food and other provisions. Young male settlers threw stones from the roof with slingshots and they hung banners from the building calling for an action at 6pm on 18th of January for ‘Eretz Israel’ at Har Homa settlement.

Settlers were active in attempting to avoid being filmed or photographed, surrounding HRWs who had cameras each time they noticed them in use.

It appears the settlers are attempting to create a path from Kiryat Arba to the occupied house they call Beit HaShalom (House of Peace). When the owner of the land arrived wishing to speak to the settlers the soldiers prevented him from doing so, saying they were not going to do anything about this for 2 days (co-inciding with the end of George Bush’s visit).

At around 5pm on Saturday, a group of about 30 settlers invaded a Palestinian yard belonging to Abu Seifen, to stage a small riot. This led to the injury of two Palestinian men and one woman. The police proceeded to unjustly arrest four Palestinians, one of which was suffering from wounds caused by settlers. Four hours later the arrested Palestinians returned home. The injured ones were not treated at all at the police station, their wounds were not cleaned, they returned home with blood dried on their faces.