Armed Jewish settlers assault 70-year-old Palestinian shepherd in West Bank

TNA Staff

The New Arab  /  February 12, 2023

Jewish Settlers forced the elderly Palestinian shepherd to leave a pasture near the city of Jericho at gunpoint, a rights activist said.

A 70-year-old Palestinian shepherd was targeted on Saturday by Jewish settlers as he tended to his sheep in the occupied West Bank, an activist said.

Three settlers physically assaulted the man in a pasture near the city of Jericho/Ariha, Bedouin rights activist Hasan Mleihat was cited as saying by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

He was made to depart the area at gunpoint, Mleihat said.

It comes amid an escalation in violence by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank.

Earlier this month, Israeli forces killed five Palestinians during a raid on the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near Jericho, an ancient city that is a popular destination for tourists.

Camp resident Mohammad Kharshan said Israeli forces entered Aqabat Jabr at 3am and “surrounded a house amidst gunfire”.

“I woke up to the sound of gunfire that continued for almost an hour, but didn’t dare to step out until the occupation withdrew after sunrise,” he told The New Arab at the time.

He said there were “blood stains on the street near the house”.

Last month it was reported that Jewish settlers had attacked a group of hikers north of Jericho, using tear gas and batons and inflicting broken bones and facial burns.

Videos on social media showed the settlers swinging wildly at the hikers, screaming in Hebrew and Arabic, saying: “I’m going to break your hands – I’m going to break your heads.”

None of the walkers responded with violence despite the repeated attacks.

An Italian national in the group received a fracture on her arm from a blow by one of the settlers.

So far this year, 45 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to a tally by The New Arab.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed in those territories in 2022, making it the deadliest year there since 2004, according to leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Agencies contributed to this report