An Israeli settler and two teens were indicted on Thursday for attacking Palestinians harvesting their olives near a settlement last month, following which a 72-year-old farmer from the West Bank village of Na'alin suffered a head injury.
The three – Nuriel Sharabi from the settlement of Ganei Modi’n and two minors whose names cannot be published – are charged with aggravated assault and violating a legal order.
The indictment, filed at the Lod District Court, states that the accused threw large stones at a Palestinian family that was harvesting olives in the wadi near the settlements of Ganei Modi’in and Hashmonaim, in the central West Bank.
According to the indictment, they sprayed the harvesters with pepper spray and threw planks at them while yelling, “Sons of bitches, get out of here, go home” and “Leave” in Arabic.
The accused also threw stones at a female member of the family who was nearby and sprayed the minors who were with her with pepper gas. One of the accused even grabbed one of the minors and hit him with a wooden plank, hurting his leg.
The attack put 72-year-old Khalil Abdul-Hak Amira in a Ramallah hospital for three days; he suffered a concussion and needed stitches on his head. According to the indictment, soldiers in the area noticed the accused as they started to make their way toward the harvesters, but couldn’t catch them. Two of the accused were in violation of a restraining order keeping them out of the West Bank, and the two minors were violating an order to stay away from each other. All the accused are now under house arrest.
The settlement of Hashmonaim is located next to the separation barrier, which separates it from Na’alin. Palestinians seeking to reach their lands near the settlement must pass through one of the agricultural entrances that allow them limited access on specific days and during specific hours.
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Abed, Amira’s cousin, who was also attacked, told Haaretz that this was the first time he’d been physically assaulted. “We harvest there every year and nothing like this has ever happened,” he said. “We know some of the residents of Hashmonaim who live near our plots and the relationship with them is fine; these weren’t those people.”