HEBRON, Tuesday, April 7, 2020 (WAFA) - A number of Palestinians today suffered from suffocation during confrontations with Israeli forces and settlers in Ash-Shuyukh town, northeast of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to sources.
Ahmad al-Halayqa, a local media activist, told WAFA that extremist Israeli settlers, under military protection, attacked Palestinian farmers inspecting in She‘ib At-Tina and al-Majalis areas in order to force them out of their lands and expand a nearby colonial settlement, triggering confrontations.
He added that Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and concussion bombs at the Palestinian farmers, causing some to suffer from suffocation due to gas inhalation.
The settlers came from the nearby Israeli colonial settlement of Metsada Asfar, built on 1,500 dunams of Palestinian land belonging to Ash-Shuyukh and Sa‘ir towns.
The Palestinian farmers were inspecting their land several days after settlers installed barbed wire plots of land belonging to the al-Halayqa family.
Family‘s spokesperson Mohammad al-Halayqa pledged that al-Halayqas would continue to protect their land against settlers’ encroachments by planting it, and force the settlers to dismantle the shacks and tents that they had set up few days ago on the land.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settlers‘ violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
There are almost 834,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel’s nation-state law states that building and strengthening the settlements is a “national interest.”