NABLUS (Ma’an) — Several Israeli soldiers held several Palestinian farmers and shepherds and assaulted them late Friday near the Yitzhar Street in southern Nablus, locals told Ma’an.
Sources added that Bashir Qadus, 42, one of the assaulted farmers, was taken to the Rafidiya Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment. Mahdi al-Najjar and Muhsen Qadus were also identified among those assaulted.An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on the incident but told Ma’an he would look into the incident. The villages south of Nablus are frequent sites of both settler violence and Palestinian clashes with Israeli forces as they are located beside the notoriously violent Israeli settlements of Yitzhar, Bracha, and Itamar.
Three Palestinian shepherds were shot by Israeli forces and private security guards at the Jewish-only settlement Itamar in January.Palestinian shepherds had gathered near the Gidonim outpost of the settlement claiming that their herds had been stolen. Settlement residents then called army forces, and the local security guards and the army forces “fired in the air to disperse the riot,” an Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma’an at the time.
Settlers in the area frequently attack a number of local villages and prevent farmers from reaching their lands, according to UNOCHA, in addition to attacks on local olive trees themselves.As of January 2015 there were 389,250 residents living illegally in Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank, another 375,000 in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli Interior Ministry.