Israeli Charged for Assault on Activists Helping Palestinians During Olive Harvest

The 19-year-old Israeli defendant allegedly struck a human rights activist with a club in the West Bank, who was consequently taken to the hospital

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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Masked settlers hold clubs to attack Palestinian and activists, by the town of Surif near Hebron, last November
Masked settlers hold clubs to attack Palestinian and activists, by the town of Surif near Hebron, last NovemberCredit: Shai Kendler
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

The police submitted an indictment Monday against a 19-year-old Israeli for assaulting human rights activists who assisted Palestinians in harvesting their olives.

Einan Ben-Nir Amram Tanjil from Ramat Ekron stands accused of assault and causing serious injury with a weapon. The indictment states that Tanjil was in possession of a knife and teargas.

The activists and Palestinians arrived together to harvest olives in an area between the Palestinian town of Surif and the settlement of Bat Ayin that day, before a group arrived and began throwing stones at them, according to the indictment filed in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on November 12.

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The group, about 20 people with Tanjil among them, began throwing stones at and hitting the harvesters and activists, shortly after the departure of soldiers and a military officer from the scene.

Tanjil allegedly struck activist Neta Ben-Porat in the head and legs with a club, while another unidentified attacker also attempted to assault her. She was taken to the clinic in Surif and from there to Hadassah University Hospital for treatment.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, from the group Rabbis for Human Rights, who was wounded by a rock in Surif, this month.Credit: Shai Kendler

Activist Gil Hammershlag intervened but was similarly struck with a club as he came between Ben-Porat and the attackers. The second assailant then allegedly struck Rabbi Arik Ascherman, an activist from the human rights group Torat Tzedek.

In an announcement from "Stop Settler Violence" conference on Monday in the Knesset, its organizer stated that they "support the non-violent struggle and call for an end to the occupation peacefully," and that they "wish those who are in a hurry to shout at him [Tanjil] now would have done so in the face of the severe violence that settlers have used against Palestinians and Israelis in recent weeks."

According to the human rights group Yesh Din, between 2005 and 2019, 91 percent of investigations involving suspected crimes by Israeli citizens against Palestinians were closed. Out of the files closed, 64 percent were closed because the identity of the assailant was unknown, and 21 percent were closed for lack of sufficient evidence.

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