Settlers attack Palestinian shepherds east of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM (Ma-an) — Israeli settlers on Saturday assaulted two Palestinian shepherds while they were grazing their sheep in the village of Tuqu east of Bethlehem, relatives said.

Arif Ayish Ubayyat, 23, and Ayyub Hasan Ubayyat were pasturing their sheep in the Romman area east of Tuqu when a group of settlers attacked them.

Arif sustained bruises and he lost 17 his sheep during the attack. He was subsequently taken to a local clinic in Tuqu for treatment.

His relatives say they telephoned the Palestinian liaison department, who in turn contacted their Israeli counterparts in order to try and find the missing sheep.

Relatives highlighted that the area is private Palestinian land, but it slated for confiscation by Israeli authorities.

Tuqu is surrounded by roads under Israeli control on all sides. On its east side is the Israeli settlement of Teqoa, and the road to the west is a major artery connecting Bethlehem to the southern West Bank.

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

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

(Source / 01.03.2014)

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