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More Attacks on Shepherds in Masafer Yatta

24 February 2024 | International Solidarity Movement | Masafer Yatta

Settlers/ army harassing Palestinian shepherd. @ISM

On Wednesday, February 21st, a group of armed and masked settlers and occupation army soldiers violently attacked a group of Palestinian women, children and men grazing their sheep in Humra close to A-Tuwani, in Masafer Yatta.

The soldiers aggressively drove the shepherds out of their land, while continuously shouting and threatening them, at one point by running after one of the shepherds with a pointed machine gun.

At the edge of Humra, the settler and army soldiers detained one of the shepherds and two international solidarity activists present while driving the shepherds and their sheep down into their village and completely cut them off from any grazing land.

After calling for backup, two jeeps with more army and settler soldiers and border police officers arrived. They all worked closely together, making it challenging to differentiate between settlers and regular army. The border police were clearly intimidated by the settlers and took orders from them stating that “we are all working for the same”.

After extensive verbal harassment of the detained shepherd and international activists, and violent attempts to block the internationals from documenting the episode, the soldiers and border police retrieved, and everyone was let go.

Afterwards the shepherds called the police because two days prior the police had told them that they could graze in Humra. However, the settlers and army had kept harassing them everyday while grazing, finally escalating once again on this day.

For several days after, the shepherds have been prevented from grazing in the land, loosing invaluable grazing time to sustain their livestock.

Humra is part of an area recognised by the state as private Palestinian land. For the last couple of years, it has even been closed off by the high military commander of the West Bank meaning that only Palestinians legally can be present there.

But even though it’s a felony for Israelis to be present in the area, to sorbets or even to pass, settlers have been shepherding there have had no consequences, except when the police now and then would tell them to leave after being alerted, only to return again.

After the 7th of October, the situation has changed drastically, as the settlers and army again and again use excessive force to deny the Palestinian shepherds access to their land, using the tactic of declaring the area a closed military zone, with dire consequences for their livelihoods.

This is one of numerous examples of how the occupation force drive Palestinians out of their land.

Videos of soldier harassing the shepherds.