Israeli Settlers Shoot at Farmers in Saffa

21 December 2009

On December 20, 2009 at 9am four farmers from Beit Ommar, Mohammed Ikhlayl, ‘Ayed Ikhlayl, Kalil Ikhlayl, and ‘Ali Nayef, were plowing their agricultural land approximately 700 meters from the Bat ‘Ayn settlement, alone. Suddenly, they were shot at four times from inside the settlement. No one was hit but Israeli soldiers arrived shortly after, acknowledging that they knew settlers had shot at the farmers, and demanding that the Palestinians leave in order to “avoid problems”. The farmers refused, and remained on their land for another 2 hours before they were finally forced to leave by the Israeli soldiers. At no time did the Israeli soldiers, in theory in charge of security for the area but in practice virtually powerless against the settlers, go into the settlement to investigate or prevent settlers from approaching.
For the past 8 months, Palestine Solidarity Project has organized accompaniment for farmers from Beit Ommar and Saffa by international and Israeli activists, to attempt to prevent settler attacks. However, the Palestinian farmers refuse to be intimidated and do not want to rely on outside intervention to access their lands. This is yet another example, unfortunately, of the need for both accompaniment and support for the campaign to rebuild Saffa.