Settler war against South Hebron Hills shepherd community

06:00 Jun 9 2011 Umm al Kheir (Rujm Um Heir), southeast of Hebron and Carmel

AIC 9 June -- In the past week residents of Khirbet Umm al-Khier in the South Hebron Hills have suffered from attacks by settlers from the nearby Carmel settlement, who are preventing them from taking their flocks out to graze. Preventing access to their lands is done with the full cooperation of the Israeli police and army.

On Sunday 5 June, a new stage in the struggle of Khirbet Umm al-Khier residents began for their right to live in the face of strangulation attempts by the Carmel settlers and occupation forces. Nabil Tapash, an officer of the Israeli Civil Administration, came to Khirbet Umm al-Hir on Sunday and spoke with a resident of the Eid village.

According to the settlers, several olive trees they planted earlier this year were damaged by the herds of Umm el-Khier. Settlers demand compensation of NIS 250, although they provided no evidence of the claimed damage or of the responsibility of Umm el-Khier residents for said damage. Nabil threatened that if compensation was not paid, he would prevent the herds from walking through the pasture, thus obligating the herders to walk on foot via a long bypass route.

And indeed, since Monday morning settlers and the army have prevented passage of the herders. A military captain went even further, kicking several of the goats, including one in the head who died several hours later.

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