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Settlers stab Palestinian south of Hebron

March 21, 2011 10:48 A.M. (Updated: March 22, 2011 5:47 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- A 32-year-old from the south Hebron hills told Ma'an he was stabbed in the chest on Monday by settlers from the Ma'on settlement.

Speaking by phone from hospital, Mahmoud Ibrahim Ali Awad said he was treated for moderate stab wounds.

The father of two lives in Khirbet Toubeh. Family members told the Palestinian Authority shortly after the incident that he was attacked while riding his donkey toward the nearby town of Yatta, where he was to receive treatment for kidney problems.

As he passed by the Havat Maon outpost settlers accosted him and one stabbed him several times in the chest, head and left arm, a PA statement said. He was moved to Alia hospital in Hebron.

Medical sources said Awad was scheduled for surgery Monday afternoon.

Christian Peacemaker Teams said a villager witnessed the attack, and recognized the assailant from a settler riot on 19 March, the day after an unknown knife man stabbed five settlers including two children and in infant in the northern West Bank.

From Ramallah, the PA said it holds the "Israeli Government responsible for tolerating settler violence against Palestinians," noting the injury of six Palestinian workers earlier in the week by settlers in the Shilo settlement.

"This action was part of the 'price tag' policy of settlers that has been escalating, while the Israeli government remains tolerant and provides immunity for settlers committing crimes against Palestinians. Palestinians safety and security is an immediate demand and need," the statement said.

The day before, residents of the south Hebron hills village of At-Tuwani were reportedly harassed by settlers from the Havat Ma'on outpost, during a protest action overseen by Christian Peacemaker Teams observers.

According to a statement from CPT, residents went out to fields in the Humra valley to graze flocks, plant olive trees and gather herbs at 9 a.m., and were observed by Israeli military jeeps, and later accosted by settlers who intimidated the locals.

"Settlers from the Havat Ma'on outpost, some of them masked, began to approach and provoke the Palestinians. They walked among their flocks and close to the women who were gathering herbs in the fields. At about 10:30, three young settlers chased a Palestinian man who was returning home with his donkey through Meshaha hill. Luckily, the Palestinian man was just scared by the settlers," the CPT statement said.

"The soldiers tried to keep the settlers away, repeatedly asking them to return in the outpost. At around 10:50 an officer of the Border Police brought an evacuation order" forcing both settlers and locals out of the area.

As the parties left the area, CPT observers said, some of the settlers "attacked the Palestinians and their flocks on their way back to the village, while others headed toward At-Tuwani masked and accompanied by dogs, threatening the house closest to the outpost."

During the ensuing confrontation, the military detained two Palestinians, while a third was transported to hospital with light injuries.
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