Rashash: A young settler is violently harassing a peace activist

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Daphne Banai, Omer and Guy of Taayush, Sharon of Yesh Din

Rashash, Palestinans Jordan Valley

Getting underway at 6 a.m.

Guy and Sharon preceded us. M. who was near the encampment said the Jewish settler-colonists are already near the Palestinian shepherds so we hurried to the site. At first we noticed a large tight flock, but we found out it belonged to the settler-colonists. No one was with the livestock so we continued to walk. From the top of the hill we saw the two Palestinian shepherds, one of them a 14-year old boy, on the hillside. Guy and Sharon sat on rocks among the sheep.

Opposite them, at a distance of less than 100 meters, were three settler-colonists: two adults with a mini-tractor, and a boy with long blond side-curls, on horseback. There was no reason for their being there, next to the Palestinian floc, except their desire to harass the Palestinians. They sounded some very loud techno music, which made the sheep run away in fright.

Guy summoned Israeli police that arrived on site with the army. They immediately approached us in order to inspect and photograph our IDs. They did not check the settler-colonists’ IDs, although they said they did. (We saw they didn’t).  We explained, quietly, that our purpose is simply to protect the Palestinians from the repeated violence which the settler-colonists from “Angels of Peace” outpost exert against them. The policeman, also polite, said he doesn’t wish to be involved, but kept the settler-colonists distant from the Palestinian shepherds so they could finish their grazing and descend to the spring in the east (En Rashash).

At 9:30 a.m. we began to return to our cars. I stayed back a bit because of a hurt ankle, and the young settler-colonist (David Shulman nicknames him ‘Goldilocks”) who had beat up Guy harshly on Sunday, came to me on his horse, threateningly close.  For about 10 minutes he rode next to me. I strayed off the trail to rockier ground in order to escape the horse, until Sharon who noticed my absence returned with her video camerainfo-icon, and when the boy noticed she was filming him, he directed his horse back to the outpost and got on his way.

Upon our return to the encampment, we were treated to a tasty breakfast.

We then drove on to Makhoul in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, where things were quiet today, no harassment.

The Gochya Gate is still open.