Israeli settlers, backed by soldiers, attack Palestinian shepherd and his dog in Khirbet Zanutah

Hebron (QNN)- Extremist Israeli settlers, backed by well-armed soldiers, brutally attacked a Palestinian shepherd and his dog in Khirbet Zanutah village, in southwestern Hebron Hills, earlier on Thursday.

Local sources said a group of extremist Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian shepherd, fired in the air, threw a stun grenade at him and injured his dog.

After fleeing them, other Palestinians came to his aid and tried to rescue the flock.

Shortly after, the Israeli occupation soldiers arrived at the scene and arrested three of the Palestinians who came to help the shepherd.

There has been a sharp spike in settler violence against Palestinians and their properties in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, said in a report issued in January 2022 that it documented 45 incidents of settler violence against Palestinian harvesters and their property during the olive harvest season lasted from early October 2021 to the end of November 2021.

In these incidents, settlers physically assaulted farmers, stole crops, vandalized trees and damaged personal or agricultural property.

The 45 cases of settler violence include: 25 cases of trees vandalized, 17 cases of crops stolen, 11 cases Palestinians physically assaulted, 11 cases harvesting equipment damaged, 7 cases Palestinians driven out and barred from their lands, and 3 cases personal property damaged.

In 18 of the incidents, occupation forces were present during the attacks.

In 10 of these, the soldiers supposedly sent to protect the harvesters joined in the violence against them.

In three of the 10 incidents, they even dispersed the harvesters using tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets.

The rights group noted that settler violence Palestinians is “yet another method Israel uses to gain control of land in the West Bank.”

It added that settlers carry out a variety of violent acts against Palestinians, including physical assaults, stone throwing, threats and harassment, damaging of trees and crops, vandalism of cars, blocking of roads and even firing of live ammunition.

There are 280 illegal settlements in the West Bank, which are home to more than 440,000 Israeli settlers.

In the first half of 2021, 416 anti-Palestinian incidents perpetrated by extremist Israeli settlers were reported – more than double the figure for the first half of 2020 and more than all of 2019.

Of the 416 incidents reported between January and June of 2021, there were approximately 139 incidents of vandalism, stone-throwing, assaults and so-called price-tag incidents

In 2019, there were 363 incidents and 507 reported in 2020.

(Source / 04.02.2022)

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