TUBAS, Tuesday, February 12, 2019 (WAFA) - Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd as he was grazing his livestock in al-Farisiya village, east of Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valleys, said a local human rights activist.
Aref Daraghmeh, a local human rights activist, said that settlers from the illegal settlement of Rotem chased Palestinian shepherds and attacked one of them, identified as Barakat Daraghmeh, inflicting several bruises and cuts across his body.
Daraghmeh was rushed to a hospital in Tubas, where medics described his condition as stable.
Bordered by the Jordan River to the east, al-Farisya has a population of about 300 Palestinians and occupied a total area of 7,200 dunums, including 200 dunums classified as built-up areas, 2000 dunums for agricultural use, 2500 for forests and open spaces.
Based on data provided by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), as much as 90% of the villagers are involved in agriculture for their livelihood, relying on livestock and plant production, such as vegetables and crops.
Israel has seized about 2,500 dunums, including 300 dunums that were confiscated during the second intifada. The village is surrounded by the illegal Israeli settlements of Rotem, also known as Nahal Rotem, from the east and Shedmot Mehola from the northeast.
Israeli forces have frequently demolished residential structures, including tents, and seize water tanks for the villagers as a means to forcefully displace them and confiscate their lands for settlement construction.
Considered the most significant Palestinian land reserves, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea make up approximately a third of the West Bank, with 88 percent of its land classified as Area C, under full Israeli military control, and at least 44 percent appropriated by Israeli forces for military exercises.
Almost all Palestinian communities in the region rely in their livelihood on grazing flocks and growing crops on land next to their homes. Extensive damage to farmland and grazing areas due to gunfire and the passage of tanks and military vehicles through the fields jeopardizes the communities’ ability to survive in the area.
Palestinian residents of the Jordan Valley regularly face evacuation to Israeli military exercises on or near their land. They say Israel is trying to push them out of their land to eventually take it over to build Jewish settlements.