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Israeli settlers throw rocks, assault 3 Palestinian farmers picking olives

Nov. 5, 2016 5:35 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 6, 2016 3:57 P.M.)
Jaber Barakat Abu Fekheideh being treated for critical wounds in a Ramallah hospital after being attacked by Israeli settlers
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinians were wounded, one critically, after being attacked by Israeli settlers on Saturday in the village of al-Janiya in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

According to locals, Israeli settlers assaulted and threw rocks at members of the Abu Fekheideh family while they were picking olives on their land in the al-Batha area of the village, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Talmon.

Jaber Barakat Abu Fekheideh was critically injured in the head, while his brother Hassan and cousin Muhammad were reported as mildly wounded, though it remained unclear exactly what type of wounds they sustained.

All three were taken to the Ramallah Hospital for treatment.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

This story continues below.

Saturday’s events were the latest in a series of attacks on Palestinian farmers during this year’s olive harvest season, which began early last month, and has seen several incidents of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian farmers and their lands in the occupied territory.

Last week, Israeli settlers cut down 18 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian family in the village of Nahhalin, west of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank.

Just one day prior, Israeli forces expelled several Palestinian farmers from their lands, and detained one while they were picking olives near Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank.

Earlier last month, dozens of extremist Israeli settlers harassed Palestinian families who were picking olives on their private lands west of Nablus city.

Palestinian officials told Ma'an at the time that settlers from the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Gilad attacked different families from the villages of Jit and Farata in the Qalqiliya district, and Sarra in the Nablus district -- all located just south of the outpost.

One week prior to that incident, a number of settlers from the illegal Eli settlement attacked Sahir Mousa and his family while they were picking olives on their land in the outskirts of the Nablus-area village of Qaryut, which is just a few kilometers away from the settlement.

"They arrived carrying hatchets and other sharp tools and forced the family to return home and completely damaged their car," officials said regarding that attack.

On Oct. 4, a group of Israeli settlers’ children escorted by Israeli forces harassed a Palestinian family harvesting olives in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces, who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, along with Israeli rights group B’Tselem, have previously condemned Israeli authorities for failing to protect Palestinians from settlers violence or investigate attacks, particularly during olive harvest season, when incidents of attacks on harvesters and their olive groves have been a near daily occurrence in past years.
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