15 October, 2023 | International Solidarity Movement | Wadi Siq
Armed settlers attacked Palestinians and international volunteers in the Bedouin village of Wadi Siq, east of Ramallah, on Thursday (October 12) hospitalising two people.
Villagers were also beaten after the illegal settlers returned for a second attack later that day, ISMers were told.
ISMers and Israeli activists in partnership with the Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC) have been based in the village several nights a week at the request of residents due to increasing intimidation and violence by settlers following the setting up of outposts nearby in recent months.
The villagers have experienced harassment, intimidation, assault and damage to, and theft of, their property on a regular basis. This usually happens at night, increasing the trauma inflicted on villagers.
Wadi Siq, which consists of individual family encampments widely dispersed over rocky, hilly terrain, is served by the Al-Tahidi School. Providing education for 60 Bedouin children from the age of five to 14 years, the school is also on the receiving end of attacks by settlers.
The headteacher reported that settlers have rammed the school bus with children onboard and teachers’ cars as they leave work. Thefts of school property are common with the building’s generator being stolen last week. The head is also very worried about the impact of the attacks on the physical and mental wellbeing of the children.
Last week, Israeli activist Rabbi Arik Asherman was detained after he reported to the police that the entrance to the village had been blocked by the settlers. He was then arrested and, at the time of writing, is still being held.
Following Israel’s bombardment of Gaza last Saturday, settlers have ramped up their attacks even further.
On Thursday at around 11am a group of armed settlers set upon volunteers based at the site. Two of the CRWC personnel (Abu Hassan and Mohamad Nada) were badly beaten, requiring hospitalisation.
Settlers also circled the village in SUV to intimidate residents while a group of volunteers were threatened with guns when they approached two settlers who were standing on the track close to one of the encampments.
After sunrise settlers broke into a large metal storage container and stole valuable items including a solar power unit and batteries and vandalised the other items being stored. This represented a serious loss for the family concerned.