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IWPS: Israeli soldiers beat Palestinian farmer unconscious near Kufr Qaddum

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On Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, a family of about 15 was harvesting its land on a slope of Jebel Mohammed north of Kafr Qaddum village, close to the eastern side of a caravan outpost of the Qedumim settlement, when they were approached by Israeli soldiers. Family members report that they already had been harassed the previous day by soldiers and settlers, who tried to take horses and a tractor from them. They say that on Tuesday at about 9 a.m. the soldiers returned in a Hummer jeep, demanding that the family should stay at least 300 metres away from the settler outpost. However, as its entire olive grove is within 300 metres of the outpost, the family refused.

The soldiers then proceeded to handcuff the men and youth and detained the entire family, including women and children, until about 15:30 on the pretext of its tractor being “illegal.” During this time family members said they were verbally abused and threatened by the soldiers, prevented from making telephone calls and exposed to a group of about 20 or more settlers who were throwing stones at them from a distance.

At about 15:30 the Qedumim settlement police arrived on the scene and, according to family members, confirmed that the tractor was not stolen and that the family had the necessary papers for it, and said the soldiers should let the family go. However, after the police left, family members said the soldiers prevented the family from leaving with its tractor and tried to detain the 54-year-old father, who was driving. When he tried to resist the obviously arbitrary arrest, a soldier beat him over the head with the butt of a rifle. The farmer fell to the ground unconscious and lay there for about an hour as the soldiers prevented them from approaching him. At about 17:00 other farmers coming home from their fields noticed the situation and called for help. A larger number of villagers then arrived on the scene and freed the injured man. He was brought to hospital in Qalqiliya, were he will stay overnight for observation.