Soldiers Shoot Tear Gas at Farmers in Saffa

13 November 2010

Soldiers shot tear gas at farmers in Saffa today as they attempt to work their land near the Bat Ayn settlement. A group of about 30 Palestinian, international and Israeli activists accompanied Sheik Mohammad Aady to his land on the hillside opposite Bat Ayn, which has been marked for annexation by the settlement. The group marched to the land waving Palestinian flags and carrying signs. They worked for an hour, tilling the land and setting small fires to clear the brush.

Soldiers gathered at the top of the hill above the activists, and two jeeps parked on the road at the bottom of the hill. Soldiers shot tear gas at the group, who responded by shouting and throwing stones. As the group was leaving the soldiers shot more tear gas at the crowd at head level.

6 international activists were arrested last Sunday while accompanying farmers in Saffa. On Tuesday Ali Ahmed Thalj Aady and Hani Nimr Aady were detained in their land for 5 hours and threatened with arrest if they returned. The Israeli military claims that the land is Israeli state land, despite the fact that all the farmers have ownership documents. The army’s attempts to keep the farmers from working on their land clearly indicate their intention to annex the land to the Bat Ayn settlement.