Palestinian Shepherd Injured in Alleged Assault Near Evicted West Bank Settlement

Harbi Mohammed Ali Abdo awaits a second operation after, he says, a group of some 10 settlers violently attacked him

Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf
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Harbi Mohammed Ali Abdo is taken to the hospital on May 6, 2020.
Harbi Mohammed Ali Abdo is taken to the hospital on May 6, 2020.Credit: Saddam Salah
Hagar Shezaf
Hagar Shezaf

A Palestinian shepherd was hospitalized in serious condition on Wednesday after allegedly being attacked on Wednesday by a group of settlers in the West Bank.

Harbi Mohammed Ali Abdo, a man in his fifties from the village of Burqa, east of Ramallah, said he was attacked by a group of about 10 people while herding his flock near Homesh, a former settlement that had been evacuated as part of the 2004 disengagement from Gaza, which included withdrawal from several West Bank settlements.

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Abdo's leg broke as a result of the alleged assault and he underwent surgery in Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he is waiting for additional surgery.

The group approached and hurled rocks at Abdo and his nephew, Hamudi, who was with him in the field, he said. The two said they identified their assailants as settlers because they spoke amongst themselves in Hebrew. A rock hit Abdo's leg and he fell and broke his leg, he said.

His 27-year-old nephew Hamudi managed to escape and hid nearby. The sheep scattered during the attack and were rounded up hours later. Hamudi said he came out of hiding when he heard his uncle cry out and helped him to walk to Burka, where an ambulance took him to the hospital.

The incident was reported to Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.

Despite the departure of Homesh’s settlers, Palestinians have not been allowed access to their land there for many years, while settlers go there regularly and have even set up a yeshiva on the site of the former settlement.

In December the state said that Palestinian landowners must be allowed to access their land at Homesh. Nevertheless, settlers still come to the site and do not allow Palestinians to come near it. Last week the Civil Administration in the West Bank evacuated some of the tents comprising the yeshiva, which still operates at the site.

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