Settlers Fire Guns to Disrupt Israeli-Palestinian Olive Harvest

The olive picking season, which starts at around the beginning of October, has been
severely hampered by prolonged curfews imposed by the IDF in the West Bank, Gush
Shalom said in a statement. The IDF, the statement said, frequently bars the
Palestinian population from picking olives, the main source of livelihood for many….
Settlers fired several shots in the air as well as at the group of Palestinians and activists
from a distance of some 300 meters. One activist said shots were aimed at a group
that included women and children.

2002.10.19

Dozens of settlers prevented residents of the West Bank villages of Akrabeh and
Inabus near Nablus, as well as Jewish and Arab Israeli left-wing activists, from picking
olives Saturday, 19 October.

The olive picking season, which starts at around the beginning of October, has been
severely hampered by prolonged curfews imposed by the IDF in the West Bank, Gush
Shalom said in a statement. The IDF, the statement said, frequently bars the
Palestinian population from picking olives, the main source of livelihood for many.

Also, the Jerusalem Post has previously reported police were investigating a West
Bank settler on suspicions he was implicated in the killing of a 24-year-old Palestinian,
Hani Yusuf of Akraba, and the wounding of another man on October 6, while they were
harvesting olives near Hirbat Yanun and Itamar, in Samaria.

Villagers from Inabus, just south of Yitzhar, filed complaints with police, according to
which they were attacked on October 5 by a group of 20 to 30 settlers.

‘They almost killed my wife,’ Hisham Salomon said. ‘They shot in the air, at the ground,
and beat us with sticks and rocks. They might as well ship us off to Jordan or Iraq as they
plan, maybe there we will at least have some peace.’

Activists said several settlers from Yitzhar fired several shots in the air as well as
at the group of Palestinians and activists engaged in olive-picking in Inabus Saturday
afternoon, from a distance of some 300 meters. One activist said shots were
aimed at a group that included women and children.

In a conversation with the Jerusalem post internet staff, one of the Israeli activists, who
would only give her first name, Liora, said her group had arrived at an olive grove near
Yitzhar, at around 1 p.m. local time.

“They (the settlers) started shooting at us when we were there for only about ten
minutes,” she said. Even though they were most of the fire was shot in the air, she
said they could not know that at the time.” We just ran away.” She says the fire lasted
for some 10 minutes.

In one case, Liora told The Jerusalem Post, settlers continued to shoot rounds in the
air even after all the Palestinians had left the grove, and only an Israeli activist stayed.
“They kept shooting even though he was calling out to them that he was an Israeli,”
she said.

In another case allegedly connected to settler brutality, six Palestinian families on
Friday set out from the tiny village of Hirbat Yanun, near the settlement of Itamar,
leaving it completely abandoned.

Sobbing as they filled a truck with furniture and piled themselves into dusty cars,
members of the Sobih clan said they were fleeing the village — once home to 25
families — after four years of worsening attacks by settlers, who have set up illegal
outposts on nearby hilltops. The attacks have become increasingly frequent in recent
months, they said.

“Our life here is more bitter than hell,” Kamal Sobih, a thin, bearded man of 40, said
Friday. Groups of masked Jewish settlers have charged into the village, coming at
night with dogs and horses, stealing sheep, hurling stones through windows and
beating the men with fists and rifle butts, Palestinian residents said.

An electricity generator has been scorched by fire, knocking out power to the village.
Three large water tanks were tipped over and emptied.

More than 200,000 Jews live in about 150 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip — lands that are home to 3 million Palestinians, who hope to establish a state on
the territory Israel conquered in 1967.

Author:

News Service: Jerusalem Post

URL: http://www.jpost.com/