Two Elderly Palestinian Farmers Brutally Attacked by Israeli Settlers in the Southern West Bank

27 April 2009

On April 26th, 2009 at 1:15pm, Israeli settlers beat two elderly Palestinian farmers with stones and sticks while they were working their lands close to Bet Ayn settlement, located in the southern West Bank. The attack occurred shortly after Israeli soldiers, having observed the two farmers, left the area. They did not reappear even after the attack.

Both farmers are from the village of Beit Ommar, with lands in Saffa, close to the illegal Israeli settlement. Abdullah Soleiby, aged 80, sustained two hair-line fractures and received ten stitches to the top of his head after three settlers held him down and repeatedly smashed his head with stones. His brother, Hamad Soleiby, aged 72, was also beaten though he managed to put his brother on the back of a donkey and take him to the village, where he was briefly treated before being transferred to the hospital in Hebron.

This is not the first time this family has been the victim of vicious attacks by settlers from Beit Ayn. In 2006, Hamad’s head was also fractured by masked settlers while farming in the same area.

The day before on April 25th, Beit Ommar farmers accompanied by international solidarity activists, were able to work lands close to the settlement in the same area. The army and settlers left the farmers alone, though two carloads of Israeli activists were prevented from entering the village earlier that day to take part in the action.