Saturday, January 5, 2008

This is Zionism in Action, While the "Peace Process" Circus Goes On

Twilight Zone / Five masked men
By Gideon Levy

"In a dirty and neglected room in the surgical department of Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus, an elderly shepherd lies injured, the victim of a vicious attack. Five masked men assaulted him last week. They beat him with sticks as he was tending his grazing sheep to the west of his home village of Til. The five came down from the direction of Havat Gilad, an illegal outpost in the territories, sprayed teargas in his face and at his companions, and then began hitting them with sticks, drawing blood, while he lay helpless on the ground. Now the shepherd, Hashem Hamed, has two fractures in his left arm, fractures in his skull, large stitches on his head, in front and back, and is severely traumatized......

A little after 10 A.M., he noticed several figures approaching from behind, from the direction of nearby Havat Gilad. There were five young men - three with black masks over their faces. The other two were not masked, he said. They were not carrying firearms, but had heavy sticks and a dog with them.

The five didn't say a word, not even when Hamed's friend Asida asked them what they wanted. When they got close to the shepherds, they started spraying tear gas in their faces from a can they had with them. Amer Hamed, 15, quickly ran away and the two older shepherds fell to the ground, their eyes burning from the gas. Then the three masked men started savagely beating Hamed with their sticks, which he describes as "like the shaft of a hoe, only bigger." They beat him on the arm and head. Soon he was bleeding profusely from the head, with two deep wounds in the front and back.

The beating went on for about five minutes. The strong beating the weak, attacking the helpless older man who lay on the ground, starting to lose consciousness. Thus shall be done to the shepherd who dares to graze his sheep near the illegal outpost......

Hamed the shepherd did not try to resist. When they finished beating him, he heard his attackers speaking Hebrew to one another - Let's go back, they said. They headed off the way they had come, toward Havat Gilad.....

Omar Shatiya, head of the Til village council, is at Hashem's bedside in Rafidiya. He says that about six months ago, another shepherd from the village, Suleiman Hamed, 63, was also beaten and ended up in the hospital. "They warn us to stay away from our olive groves and our grazing pastures and then they come and steal our olives." An olive grove was set on fire not long ago. Will you return to that area to graze your sheep? we ask Hamed. "Yes. I can't give up," he says, struggling to get to his feet, his face pale........"

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