Left-wing Activists Hurt in Clash With West Bank Settlers

Protesters attacked when accompanying a Palestinian who owns agricultural land now enclosed within the perimeter of the Anatot settlement's fence.

A confrontation erupted on Friday between residents of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Anatot and a group of left-wing activists. The activists had accompanied a Palestinian to Anatot who owns agricultural land within the confines of the settlement, and who came to work his land.

At one point, the activists began hanging Palestinian flags and defaced a slogan that read "the Land of Israel for the Jewish people ["Am Yisrael"] by changing "Israel" to "Palestine." Dozens of Anatot residents who saw what was happening came out and attacked the group of activists, three of whom were injured, including one who broke his arm. Police arrived about an hour later to separate the two sides.

anatot - AFP - October 2 2011

When another group of demonstrators from the left-wing organization Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity came to Anatot on Friday night to protest the earlier incident, they were stopped at the gate to the settlement by the Anatot security coordinator. Before police arrived at the scene, some Anatot residents began to hit the demonstrators. Three people were injured and the car windshields of some of the demonstrators were smashed.

In an apparent reference to Yasin Rifai, the Palestinian farmer, Anatot's secretariat stated that the settlement has been subject to provocations from an individual from Jerusalem who claims ownership of land in the middle of Anatot, only a portion of which he actually owns.

According to the secretariat, the individual had threatened children and passersby, blocked roads, set fire to fields, built illegally, and damaged an archeological site, among other acts.

The settlement secretariat alleged that the left-wing activists entered the settlement on Friday and began throwing stones, injuring one child, and that they spray painted the slogan "God is great" in Arabic at the archeological site and later attacked cars of those attempting to enter the settlement. Police are investigating the incidents.