12 February 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
On Sunday 12 February, about 200 settlers, mainly youth, gathered at the bottom of Assima settlement in Al Buwayra to cultivate and steal Palestinian land with accompaniment by the Israeli military.
They were carrying Israeli flags and posters. The military opened a gate leading these illegal and typically violent settlers onto Palestinian land and marched them to Hilltop 25. They remained there for a while and then moved to the other side of Road 60 leading to the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and planted trees.
The Israeli Occupation Forces and police were faciltating the planting, and they let the settlers play music loudly from a car equipped with amplifiers to disturb the peace while making their presence a loud infringement on Palestinian land.
As ISM and Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel members walked up to visit Palestinian families, they were stopped by Israeli police, who checked IDs. When they were asked why they were checking their passports, the answer police answered that, “This is not Israel, it’s Hevron. It’s very dangerous.”
The Palestinians families told internationals that the illegal settlers had thrown stones at the house and broken a window. The settlers left shortly after the internationals got there, but were heard saying they would come back the following day.
The land where they planted trees is meant to be used to build houses for the children of the Palestinian families.
Pascaline is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).