24th September 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
Yesterday, Monday 23rd September, a mob of Israeli settlers invaded the roof of a Palestinian family in Hebron, attacked several Palestinians and international activists and beat a 15-year-old unconscious, leading to hospitalisation.
At approximately 5pm a group of Israeli settlers and Jewish tourists entered the roof of the Abu Shamsiyeh family without permission after they had already tried to force their way into another family’s house in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. After international activists confronted the invading group and insisted that nearby soldiers remove the trespassers, they eventually left the roof but continued to verbally harass Palestinians and internationals present.
The verbal harassment quickly turned into a vicious assault with several settlers pushing, hitting and kicking Palestinians. Three teenage settlers brutally assaulted Abu Shamsiyeh’s 15-year-old son leaving him unconscious and requiring hospital treatment. He has since been released and is recovering in the care of his family.
In past years, several Palestinians in Tel Rumeida have been severely attacked, beaten and injured by settlers, have lost pregnancies due to attacks, have had their houses broken into and furniture and electrical appliances smashed, trees in their gardens cut down and plants uprooted and poisoned. On a day to day basis, Palestinians have to deal with minor incidents such as spitting, stone-throwing and insults by the settler community. Especially on Shabbat and during Jewish holidays, settler attacks against the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida take place.
This incident is particularly concerning in the light of Netanyahu’s recent announcement that settlers would be allowed to move into Abu Rajab house by checkpoint 209 as well as the pending court case decision on the Rajabeh house, which would connect Kiryat Arba with the Tomb of the Patriarchs. It is clear that settlement expansion in Hebron will have disastrous consequences and will come with a great humanitarian cost for the surrounding Palestinian communities.