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Illegal Israeli Settlers Continue Attacks on Shepherds in Masafer Yatta

23 March 2024 | International Solidarity Movement | Masafer Yatta

March 21. @ISM

On March 20 and 21, Palestinian shepherds from the village of Umm Fagarah in Masafer Yatta faced violent attacks and incursions onto their grazing lands by illegal Israeli settlers.

On the 20th March an armed settler, from the illegal outpost Jebel Dov, moved up the Sarura Valley where they intimidated Palestinian shepherds pushing them out of the valley. The settler called nearby settler/soldiers who arrived and backed the settler, forcing the shepherds to leave and threatened to detain internationals present. Police arrived at the request of the Palestinians, recorded identification and left, with no justice for the shepherds.

Armed settler approaching a shepherd on March 20. @ISM

At 9am on March 21, shepherds from Umm Fagarah, moved their flocks onto the hills directly to the south of the village. At 10am, two armed settlers ran down the hill from the nearby illegal settlement of Avigayil, located several hundred metres over the hill to the West. The settlers aggressively pushed the shepherds and their flock several hundred metres down the hill forcing them back to their village. At 10.30 two IOF soldiers arrived, also telling the shepherds to go back into the village.

The loss of grazing pasture through land theft and violent settler attacks has greatly affected one of the remaining sources of income for rural Palestinian villages. These attacks have been ongoing for decades, but are rapidly increasing in frequency and violence.

Illegal settlers coming down the hill on March 21. @ISM

Settlers chasing away Palestinian shepherd and his sheep. @ISM

Settlers and soldiers walking away together. @ISM