by International Solidarity Movement
Every day Hasim and Hathem’s family have to cross a road, which separates their homes from the village. This puts them in a dangerous position, exposing them to settler harassment and violence. Yesterday evening when they were passing a road to visit a store in the village, a car drove by and dragged the two boys inside. Hasim screamed, causing people to wake in the village, this appeared to unnerve the settlers and the two boys managed to escape into the olive fields, close to their house. While the boys ran, one of the settlers pulled out an M16 and tried to shoot them, and also fired into the sky. Thankfully neither boy was injured.
When the Israeli soldiers arrived, they offered the family protection for four days, but left after an hour. The family is now extremely frightened; especially as this was not the first time one of their children was targeting by colonial settlers.
Seven months ago, Hathem’s younger brother, Ibrahim Yaser Abu Zeed (8) was crossing the street when a settle car ran him over, dragging him several meters before driving away. When the boy was found his wounds were so severe that it seemed likely he would die.
He was taken to a hospital located inside the state of Israel and fortunately survived, traumatized and badly injured, he returned to his family. Several months later, he still has to use a prescribed cream on his wounds to help the scar tissue heal. The cream costs 170 shekels, which is a serious financial burden.
Physical violence from settlers in Deir Istya is not uncommon; the situation is the same in so many other Palestinian villages close to illegal settlements. Deir Istya is being surrounded by settlements, which continue to steal more and more Palestinian land. The village itself is located in area A (under full Palestinian Authority civil and security control), but it is surrounded by area C (under full Israeli military civil and security control).
Nine people in the Zeed family live in in two rooms. The father of the family attempted to erect a tent for his goats beside the house, which Israeli soldiers immediately demanded him to destroy himself, or they would force him to pay them to destroy it.