Six Israeli shepherds from Mitzpeh Yair in the southern Hebron Hills were violently attacked by Arabs and foreign activists Monday.
The shepherds, who were tending their sheep at the time were attacked with metal poles and rocks by a group of some 20 Arabs who were accompanied by anarchists.
The incident appears to be a planned provocation.
One of the shepherds told Tazpit News Agency that the attackers began plowing the privately, Jewish-owned grazing grounds, and when they were asked to stop the Arabs and activists physically attacked the shepherds.
Three of the shepherds were injured with head and face injuries; one suffered a concussion; another had his jaw and several teeth broken. They were evacuated by MDA to a Jerusalem hospital. IDF forces arrived on the scene and arrested several of the attackers.
The Jewish shepherds are attacked on a regular basis and carry with them cameras to document these assaults. During today’s incident they were able to film the attack, but the cameras were broken during the violent event. It is unclear if the pictures are retrievable.
Mitzpeh Yair was founded more then a decade ago in memory of Yair Har-Sinai of Susiya, located across the highway from Mitzpeh Yair. Har-Sinai, who refused to carry a weapon, was murdered by Arabs as he was grazing his sheep. His wife Dalia, with the help of workers and volunteers, maintains the farm.
Susiya is famous for the ancient Jewish synagogue, mosaics and other buildings that were uncovered at the site of this Jewish town that existed from at least the 2nd century until the 6th.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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