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Video: Settlers attack farmers, volunteers at olive harvest

Oct. 30, 2013 11:29 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 31, 2013 9:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem on Wednesday released video footage and photos of an Israeli settler attack on Palestinian farmers.

B'Tselem said in a statement that on Oct. 26, masked Israeli settlers approached the Palestinian village of al-Mughayir and attacked the Naasan family with stones while they were harvesting olives.

"The family responded by throwing stones back," the statement said.

"The settlers then assaulted 75-year-old Ghatib Naasan and his nephew, Yasser Naasan, who tried to protect him. The latter, a volunteer..., was hit with an iron bar and broken glass. His head and hand were injured."

The settlers, from the nearby illegal settlement of Adei Ad, also shattered Naasan's windshield and broke his camera, according to the statement.

B'Tselem Director Jessica Montell was quoted in the statement, saying: "It is the duty of the military, which is fully responsible for the said area, to prevent this absurd situation whereby farmers cannot harvest their olives for fear of being attacked by settlers, who are living there in contravention of international and Israeli law."

Naasan filed a complaint at a nearby Israeli police station the next day and B'Tselem is following the police handling of the complaint, the statement said.

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest period sees the highest peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
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