JERUSALEM –– Israeli police continue the policy of beginning criminal proceedings against Jews who are attacked by Arabs and file a complaint.
“It’s no surprise that Arabs feel more secure to attack Jews in a situation where the Jew is attacked and in the end the victim is interrogated and distanced [from Judea and Samaria],” Uri Palsi, a farmer at Netzer in Gush Etzion, said. “This is an absurd situation.”
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On April 1, five Arabs arrived on land being tilled by Jewish farmers and attacked one of them with a hoe. Palsi, a father of three from Moshav Sde Yaakov in northern Israel, was injured but was spared much more serious injuries when his partner, Yigal Dvir from Efrat grabbed the hoe out of the Arab attacker’s hands.
“They [the Arabs] wanted to lynch me,” Palsi said. “They started to call all the Arabs in the area.”
Jewish farmers have been tilling and planting olive groves and vineyards on State-owned lands and land that has not yet been claimed by the State in Netzer, located in Gush Etzion in the Judean mountains in an effort to keep the land from being taken over by the Arabs. In the past few weeks, provocations by the Arabs against the Jews have intensified with Arabs uprooting hundreds of trees from the Jewish groves and attempting to take over the land. Much of the planting done by the Arabs is funded by European agencies including Jalal. Once they have planted on the land, the Israeli army’s civil administration considers the land privately-owned by the Arabs, most of whom do not live in the area.
Police and the army arrived at Netzer, situated near the community of Elazar, where they found Palsi injured and bleeding from his forehead and arm. Police officers then proceeded to take testimony from the group of Arabs and from Palsi. Police took the Arab attacker for questioning and advised Palsi that he should come to the police station to finish filing the complaint. Palsi asked that the investigation be delayed as it was Friday and he did not want to delay to get home for the Sabbath but the police officer insisted that Palsi accompany him to Hebron to file the complaint. He said that police wanted to photograph Palsi’s injuries and since there wasn’t any detective in the local police station in Gush Etzion, he had to come to Hebron. Dvir volunteered to accompany Palsi. Both Palsi and Dvir were also accompanied by Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katzover who head Women for Israel’s Future and have spearheaded the campaign to plant on the land.
As soon as the group entered the Hebron police station, the tables were turned.
“You are suspected of an attack,” a police officer told Palsi.
Criminal files were opened against Palsi and Dvir for assault of an Arab. Both were fingerprinted and photographed and police wanted to distance them from Judea for 15 days. Several hours later, as the Sabbath approached and police wanted to finish their work and get home and following pressure from Matar and Katzover, the two were distanced from Netzer for 15 days and released on a 2,000 NIS [$575] bond to ensure that they show up for continuing police investigations when summoned.
“This is policy,”
one activist from Netzer who did not want to be identified, said. “It’s easier for the police just to arrest the Jews when there is a confrontation between Jews and Arabs. It’s less work, it sounds better to all the left-wing activist groups like Yesh Din that track these incidents and there’s less repercussions. Arabs are often connected to large family clans who will take intensify more confrontations.”