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Thu Nov 30, 2023, 11:03 AM Nov 30

Palestinians face beatings, fires and drones from Israeli settlers in West Bank [View all]

QAWAWIS, West Bank — Jibreen Abu Aram was born on this rocky land to be a shepherd. He planted an olive grove, married and had nine children. He buried his brother here in 1966 after an Israeli tank round fell on their fields. But, he said, nothing in all his time in the West Bank has tormented him as much as the Jewish settlers who over the years have beaten him, poisoned his sheep, kept him from harvesting his olives, buzzed him with drones and threatened to kill his family.

He pointed to a figure in the distance, a settler who was grazing sheep on his land. Aram called the police. They arrived, but nothing was done. Aram was not surprised. Settlers had earlier chased him from his home and stole his smartphones. “I haven’t slept there since the war began.” he said. “I’m too scared. We do shifts through the night to keep watch in case the settlers come for us.”

“We understand who we are facing,” said Aviv Mor, a carpenter and Israeli army reservist who wore side curls and is captain of the outpost’s militia. “The Arabs believe this is their land from the desert to the Dead Sea. But that will never exist. They want death. They’re all the same: Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, ISIS. They want to occupy the land of Israel, but the Torah gave us this land. They are savages.”

“We can live with Syrians, Jews, whoever,” said Sharkh, waving his cane over the land and a truck whose windows, he said, were smashed earlier by settlers. “But, you know, I can’t believe these settlers are Jews. This can’t be the way of a Jew. In all my years of experience with Jews, [the settlers] are different. I don’t even know what to call them. It’s not good for the Jews either. It’s bringing antisemitism to them.”



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