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In the West Bank Hill Range, incursions of ‘Maale Ahuviya’ settler-colonists and their flocks into grain fields and a vineyard of Palestinians are ongoing, and in the Auja area, the Israeli army openly follows instructions given by settler-colonist Omer Atidiya and chases away Palestinian shepherds from their authorised grazing grounds; the vandals of ‘Havat Maon’ have re-erected their new outpost, lately dismantled, and are harassing Palestinian locals, while settler-colonist gangs from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ invade the lands of Umm Al Aarais and threaten their Palestinian owner whom they have seriously wounded, all in full view of the Israeli army; in Jerusalem, the police violently dispersed Palestinians demonstrating in protest of the eviction of Sheikh Jarrah inhabitants and giving over their homes to Jewish settler-colonists;
photo: Settler-colonists of ‘Havat Maon’ and Israeli soldiers chase away Palestinian shepherds from Mughayer Al Abeed, Saturday, May 1, 2021
Palestinian Jordan Valley and West Bank Hill Range
For many weeks now, settler-colonists in the Deir Jarayer area of the West Bank Hill Range have been invading the grain fields of local Palestinians and destroying the crops. This week they also broke the gate of a vineyard and let in their flock to eat the vines that have just begun to proud leaves. On Wednesday, April 28, the vineyard owners discovered the gate broken into again. Activists arrived and documented the flock belonging to the settler-colonist outpost of ‘Maale Ahuviya’ inside the vineyard. On Saturday, May 1, the flock was filmed inside the vineyard yet again. All week activists were busy chasing away settler-colonist flocks from the grain fields of Palestinians near Tayibe Junction and Deir Jarayer.
In Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, Israeli soldiers are again chasing away Palestinian shepherds from grazing grounds that are legally open to them, thereby doing the bidding of the settler-colonists. On Thursday, April 29, facing activist cameras, a soldier was questioned why he was chasing away the shepherds without any legal reasoning, and declared that “Omer [settler-colonist] and the army are one and the same”, and ‘I do whatever he tells me”. This is Omer Atidiya, owner of a ‘settler-ranch’ and commander in the reserves of a secret army unit, who has been expanding his individual sovereignty in the area. Ativists accompanied shepherds in this area on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and documented the army chasing away Palestinians’ flocks on Sunday and Thursday.
At Fasail in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds on Wednesday. When they were near the spring, two Israeli cars arrived speeding, nearly running the sheep over, gave the shepherds the finger and stopped at the spring. Six young men disembarked from the car to swim. Then they sped back in the direction of the flock again. The accompanying activists forced them to slow down.
In the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, this week activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds in Farisiya on Tuesday, in Hamra on Wednesday, and at Makhoul on Friday. On all of these occasions, grazing went unhampered.
South Hebron Hills
Settler-colonist gangs are continuing their rampages, backed up by the Israeli army. On Sunday, April 25, Susya settler-colonists invaded privately-owned lands of Palestinians in an area that is supposed to be out of bounds for Israelis by army orders, and threatened the owners. That very night, settler-colonists from the outpost ‘Havat Maon’ entered the Palestinian village of Tawane. During the week, these settler-colonists rebuilt the outpost that they had erected there several weeks ago and was dismantled by the army last week, and were again harassing shepherds of Mughayer Al Abeed nearby. Activists accompanying shepherds there on Saturday summoned police and army, and when these arrived, they chased away the Palestinian shepherds!
On Saturday, the family of landowners at Umm Al Arais came to their land as they do every Saturday for years now, and found settler-colonists there from the ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost, armed with clubs and escorted by an army unit. Among the settler-colonists waiting there, were already those who had been involved in attacking the landowner about 2 months ago. The vandals did not hesitate to threaten his life this time again, as well as his family members and the activists who accompanied them. The Occupation soldiers forbade the landowner to enter his land. A woman settler-colonist from the outpost entered the area demonstratively and when the family of the landowner protested, the soldiers produced a ‘closed military zone’ order and chased them away.
On Friday, April 30, a demonstration was dispersed, protesting works that settler-colonists are carrying out on Palestinians’ lands opposite ‘Maon’, with a closed military zone order that the occupation forces presented.
During the week, activists accompanied the school children who come to Tawane from Touba, as well as the shepherds from nearby Mughayer al Abeed close to the erection of the new outpost by settler-colonists from ‘Havat Maon’. The activists also accompanied shepherds around Atariya and Harouba near Tawane. For four nights this week activists spent the night at Simra¸ fearing the harassment by settler-colonists from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost.
On Thursday night, the Jewish festivity of Lag Ba-Omer, dozens of vandal settler-colonists invaded a family’s courtyard at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The weekly demonstration on Friday was quiet, but on Saturday, the police very violently dispersed a demonstration of Palestinian political organizations protesting Israel’s intentions to evict Palestinian families from their homes there and give those houses over to settler-colonists. Three of the demonstrators were arrested for carrying Palestine flags, even this is no legal violation. Another demonstrator was detained earlier when the police stopped a bus of demonstrators on its way to Jerusalem.
On Saturday, the police placed barriers in the alleys leading to Jerusalem’s Old City Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and violently prevented the participation of celebrants in the Orthodox Church’s ceremony of Holy Fire Saturday.
The weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrah takes place every Friday. The residents call upon each and every person who supports their struggle to join them:
We will meet at the Sheikh Jarrah Garden, Nablus Road and Dahlmann St. at at 4 p.m
On Tuesday, April 27, it was reported that settler-colonists uprooted Palestinians’ plants at Brukin (Salfit district), and on Wednesday three vehicles were incinerated at Beit Iksa, near Jerusalem, and the graffiti saying “Jews, let’s win!” was sprayed beside a Star of David. In Tiberias, on Saturday, April 24, a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the village of Mghar was attacked by a gang of vandals after admitting that he was Arab. He was wounded and needed hospitalization.