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Settlers attack Susiyan Palestinian sheep herders

10 August 2009

At 7:30 of this morning, a group of sheep shepherds from Susyia, a small Palestinian village in the Southern Hebron hills, came under attack by a pair of Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal colony.

The shepherds, a small group of two Palestinian men and one woman had been grazing their sheep in their family land, in the hills near their homes. The two settlers, having faced no previous provocation from the group, came running suddenly down a dirt road, attempting to frighten the sheep off the land. The Palestinian shepherds began chasing after their animals and shouting at the settlers to end their harassment, but the pair continued their attack, hitting the sheep with stones and sticks they had been carrying with them. The Palestinian woman in the group had a stack of firesticks she had been collecting thrown of her hands and herself pushed away from her retreating animals.

Meanwhile, a pair of Israeli soldiers standing watch on an adjacent hilltop and overlooking the scene did nothing to stop the attack. Instead a large number of Palestinian residents of Susyia arrived shortly to attempt to confront and halt the settler attack.

The two settlers eventually retreated having pushed the sheep completely off the hills and back to the Palestinian settlements, giving no explanation or reply as regards their actions. With the two of them present, the shepherds together with fellow family members confronted the Israeli soldiers who had been overlooking the scene, demanding explanations for their inaction. The two attackers however remained protected by the soldiers, and allowed to leave freely.

The Israeli police arrived shortly afterwards requesting information from the Palestinian shepherds. As of this moment no information is known as to possible responses from the occupation authorities regarding the attack.