Israeli Settler Assaults Left-wing Activist After Dispute on West Bank Grazing Land

The attack on Rabbi Arik Ascherman near an unauthorized settlement outpost, which was caught on tape, followed reports on settlers grazing their sheep on Palestinian pastures

Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf
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The Ma’aleh Ahuvia settlement outpost, north of Ramallagh, in January.
The Ma’aleh Ahuvia settlement outpost, north of Ramallagh, in January.Credit: Moti Milrod
Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf

An Israeli settler assaulted prominent left-wing activist Rabbi Arik Ascherman on Tuesday near the unauthorized Ma'aleh Ahuvia outpost in the West Bank, following a dispute over grazing land.

The assault was videotaped by Gil Hamerschlag, another activist who was there at the time of the incident.

Footage of the assault on Rabbi Arik Ascherman.Credit: Gil Hamerschlag

Ascherman said he had arrived at the scene, north of Ramallah, after Palestinian shepherds reported that settlers were grazing their sheep in private Palestinian fields.

He added he had notified the police and the Israeli army, but they failed to act on the report. A few minutes later, a masked settler arrived began hitting Ascherman with a club.

Ascherman filed a complaint with the local police station, who opened an investigation. The perpetrator has yet to be identified.

The activist said that since the outpost was built three months ago in memory of Ahuvia Sandak, a settler who died during a police chase, there have been recurring clashes between settlers and Palestinians in the area over grazing lands.

Police forces and the Civil Administration removed the outpost earlier this week. The settlers, who lived there and own a herd of sheep, were documented rebuilding the outpost a short time after being evicted, in violation of an order declaring the area a closed military zone.

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