Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Palestinian officials say farmers, youth assaulted by group of Israeli settlers wielding sticks, pepper gas in field near Nablus
"A group of masked Israeli settlers beat and injured four Palestinian farmers tending to their field in the West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian officials reported.
''They parked on the road and we thought they were just hiking but suddenly they put on masks and they sprayed me in my eyes and beat me and I couldn't see who it was,'' said farmer Hussein Asida, 46.
50-year-old Hashem Hamed, who was working alongside Asida in the field, was moderately injured and evacuated to the nearby hospital in Nablus with a broken arm and badly injured pelvis. Hospital officials told Ynet he also sustained a serious head injury and required eight stitches.
"They kept beating his head and body with a stick and also kicked him with their legs," Hamed's brother said from the hospital in Nablus. "The settlers from Havat Gilad have made our lives impossible. Most of their attacks are completely ignored by the IDF. Luckily, the olive harvest this year was brief, because usually this time of year is hell for us. The settlers beat us, tear down the trees and steal the olives," he said.
The settlers sprayed four Palestinians who were planting wheat with pepper gas and then beat them with sticks, witnesses said, among the Palestinians was a 15-year-old youth......
The Yesh Din human rights organization said that over the past five months its representatives have received complaints of three incidents in which settlers attacked Palestinians in the area. The group said that 90% of police investigations into such incidents fail to end in a conviction."