By Marshall Pinkerton
29 August | International Solidarity Movement
On the morning of August 28, around 30 settlers armed with guns and sticks descended upon a Palestinian home located in Khan al-Liban, and attacked the Daraghmah family. The mother, Taghrid, and the two youngest sons, Mu’min, 13, and Nour al-Deen, 9, were injured during the attacks which lasted at least one hour until soldiers and police arrived. Mu’min and Nour were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The father of the family, Khalid, 45, and his second eldest son, Jalaal, 16, were arrested and are still being held in police custody.
At around 8:30 a.m. settlers from Ma’ale Levona arrived at the home of the Daraghmah family. The father, Khalid, two of his sons, Mu’min and Jalaal, and his wife, Taghrid, were sitting in the entry way. The youngest son, Nour, was asleep inside the main room. According to Mu’min, Taghrid went inside the main room, and was followed by 10 settlers. The settlers began attacking Taghrid, Khalid, and Nour inside the room.
“Nour was thrown at the wall by one of the big settlers, and they were laughing” Mu’min recounts.
After they attacked Nour, one of the men began beating Taghrid.
“The settler hit me on the shoulder with a stick, then grabbed me by the collar, and after that ripped my jacket and shirt. Then he began hitting me on the chest, my legs, and finally my hip.” Says Taghrid, who has just returned from Nablus after filing a police report and retreiving the medical reports about her two injured sons.
According to Mu’min says that as the violence escalated, Jalaal and Khalid tried to defend the rest of their family by forcing the settlers outside the bedroom into the entry way. Then the settlers then began beating him, his father, and Jalaal with sticks as they attempted to push them away from the bedroom. Khalid picked up two stones and the settlers began firing into the air, and throwing stones at him.
Mu’min went with Nour and his mother to the roof of the home to escape the continuing attacks. As Khalid and Jalaal were being attacked in the house, settlers began destroying the bedroom, and threw the family’s clothes into the spring next to the house, while Mu’min filmed with his phone.
“After we had been on the roof for awhile, my father and Jalaal ran away from the house, so that the settlers would follow them. When they were far enough away I put my mother and Nour in the bedroom and locked them in so that they would be safe. Then the settlers began firing into the air and throwing stones at the windows to the bedroom.” Mu’min says.
The attacks continued for some time, with Mu’min, Jalaal, and Khalid being beaten. Taghrid says she heard laughing and yelling in Arabic that they planned to cut down all the trees on the land and put Jalaal in prison. During the attacks Khalid’s car was destroyed, with all the windows being smashed, one of the doors broken and the electrical wires ripped out.
In a video, posted on Ynet news, viewers can see the Daraghmah family surrounded by settlers carrying sticks. Jalaal swings what appears to a pick at a settler who tries to enter the bedroom of the home. The Daraghmah family car is also present in the video, without any damage, before it was destroyed. The headline of the Ynet story reads “Settler attacked with axe”.
According to Taghrid, around an hour after the settlers, 5 Israeli soldiers arrived, and immediately arrested Jalaal after settlers accused him of hitting them. Khalid was detained in one of the rooms by the police. An ambulance arrived to take Mu’min and Nour to the hospital, and Khalid was taken by Police to Sha’ar Binyamin after being accused of interfering with Police work. No settler were arrested.
In 2002 the Israeli High Court ruled that the land in Khan belongs to their family, but settlers claim it is a public spring. For the past four years, Khalid al-Sanih Daraghmah and his family have faced regular attacks by Israeli settlers at their home in Khan, 2 kilometers south of the West Bank village al-Luban. When Khalid bought the two homes on the road to the illegal Ma’ale Levona settlement 5 years ago, he imagined restoring them and planting the 20 dunums of land that they sit on.
Marshall Pinkerton is a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).