28th October 2008
Brighton residents violently attacked by Israeli settlers.
As soon as the farmers reached their groves the three settlers targeted two elderly farmers, punching them and spitting at them. The youths then chased the farmers from their land. Members of the group from Brighton were threatened and one member attempting to film the attack was hit by a settler.
This settler was identified by villagers as the same man who shot dead an unarmed Palestinian teenager earlier this year during a peaceful demonstration against the siege of Gaza. This settler is believed to behind a string of violent attacks on locals in Al Masra.
Tom Hayes, of the Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group said, "The settler who attacked the group today was only able to do so because the Israeli state failed to prosecute him for murder earlier this year."
When the farmers were finally able to return to their land they discovered that their olives had already been harvested and taken from the family's land by the settlers.
For press enquiries call:
Katy (in Palestine) 00972598581765
Jamie (in Palestine 00972 598581764
Ann (in Brighton) 07900321619
Brett (in Brighton) 07984438655
Notes for journalists
During recent years Talmon B settlement has taken 14,000 dunums of land (4 dunums= 1 acre) from the Palestinians of Al Mazra’a. The villagers challenged a recent land confiscation in court and won, only to have the land reclaimed by the IDF then handed back to the settlers.
They have demonstrated against the theft of their land, and in October 07 a group from Brighton joined them as they uprooted some of the grapevines illegally planted on their land. The demonstration was met with live ammunition from the settlers and three people from Brighton were arrested. During the following days settlers entered the village to smash windows and destroy the olive trees. Fifteen Palestinians, including the town’s Mayor and several underage children, were then arrested by the Israeli Defence Force and detained for several months without charge.
In February this year a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by a settler during a peaceful demonstration against the siege of Gaza . So far the settler has gone unpunished and the Brighton Tubas group, in conjunction with Yesh Din, (there is law), an Israeli Human Rights group, is currently working on ways in which to bring him to justice and aid any court proceedings.