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Assira Qibiliya (South Assira) Part II: Wheat harvest

MPT was called at 3 p.m. by South Assira villagers who had been informed that settlers were seen coming down the hill towards the same house that had been vandalized and harassed the previous night. These settlers were from the illegal outpost Shalhevet Yitzhar (pictured at left). When MPT arrived, soldiers were walking in the hills between the settlement and the village as well as sitting in a tent under the settlement and in view of the village houses. MPT stayed with the family from 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm to deter settlers from returning to the village. While visiting with the family three of the children were playing in their yard where they collected teargas canisters, sound bombs, live bullets and rubber-coated steal bullets from the Israeli Army. Also collected were countless shells from live ammunition, presumably from the settlers. MPT was also told that the Army had arrested two villagers in their twenties at 2 am. The reason for their arrest as well as where they were taken is currently unknown.

Sound bomb (top left), Tear gas canister (top right), live bullets (bottom)

Rubber-coated steel bullet

Before leaving MPTers helped local villagers collect their wheat in the hills since the previous night’s violence had made it unsafe for them to be working the hills near the settlement. After collecting the wheat, MPT was invited into the home of one of the villagers for dinner and to hear more about the situation in South Assira. MPT learned that some of the family members have been too afraid to return to the wheat fields ever since the settlers came down from the settlement and attacked villagers working in the fields two years ago. During dinner, one of the family members who is an English teacher at the nearby boys school told three MPTers that the school has been traumatized by the murder of one 9th grade boy by a settler during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last September.

hauling bags of wheat back from fields

Settlers in the area surrounding Nablus have frequently attacked Palestinians in the nearby villages. On June 1, there was a van of 17 Palestinians on their way to work in Jerusalem who were attacked by settlers from the Nablus area. Four men were injured and one seriously injured. Please see article written by AFP http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5giCLoqxk--2Tu-m8t0qBCx53SM6Q.

Van that was attacked by settlers

(photo courtesy of Zakiraya)

3 of the men that were attacked, one seriously

(photo courtesy of Zakiraya)

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