Settlers attack a photographer who was taking pictures of the olive harvest in Tel Rumeida near Hebron. The picture is from 2008.
Ma’an News reports:
Nablus – Nine Palestinians were injured and one was detained on Tuesday when dozens of Israeli settlers attacked farmers were harvesting olives in the West Bank village of Qaryout, south of Nablus, according to witnesses, local officials, and medics.
According to sources in the village, the incident began when dozens of Israeli settlers assaulted farmers working near the Israeli settlement of Shavout Rachel.
After the initial attack, both soldiers and settlers stormed the village, clashing with Palestinian residents who defended the area by throwing stones at the marauding groups. Soldiers fired bullets and tear gas, residents said.
Medics identified some of the injured people as: 21-year-old Isra’ Badawi, who was hit in the eye; 50-year-old Hani Kassab, the village council’s accountant; 30-year-old Jawad Badawi; 70-year-old Muhammad Muqbil; 46-year-old Abdullah Badawi; and 31-year-old Mu’taz Ghassan.
Qaryout’s Mayor, Abd An-Nasser Al-Qaryouti, told Ma’an the farmers obtained permission to enter their own fields from the Israeli army through the Palestinian Authority’s liaison office. Part way through the olive harvest season, Israeli authorities implemented a mandatory registration and permission process for farmers who wished to access agricultural land in the West Bank for the harvest.
Despite this prior coordination, the mayor said, settlers arrived in more than 70 cars. He said the settlers initiated the fight by hurling stones at the farmers. Israeli forces were present, and they did not attempt to stop the settlers, he added.
Residents of the settlement of Shvut Rachel clashed with Palestinians picking olives in the northern West Bank on Tuesday, after the settlers held a march to protest the "security threat" posed by the harvest. The settlers, who were joined by residents of nearby illegal outposts, said the Palestinian harvesters were a threat because could gather intelligence and launch attacks from the olive groves.
When the settlers reached the Palestinians, the two groups began throwing stones at each other, after which the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police deployed troops to separate the sides.Israel's security forces allowed the settlers to enter the nearby Palestinian village of Kraiyut to hold a brief rally against the harvest; troops subsequently removed them from the site.
No one was wounded during the incident.
Over recent weeks, the IDF has carried out a joint operation with the Border Police to safeguard the Palestinian olive harvest. As part of the operation, IDF soldiers deploy in a number of areas around the settlements on a daily basis in order to allow the Palestinians to pick olives without harassment by settlers.