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Masked men assault Palestinian shepherd near settlement outpost

**Warning: Graphic images below**

News of a brutal attack on a Palestinian in the West Bank, by B’Tselem’s Sarit Michaeli:

A group of around 10-15 Palestinian shepherds from the West Bank village of Mikhmas, crossed route 60 this morning with their herds, to graze their herds near the area of the outpost Migron (evacuated recently). The shepherds cross the road though a narrow water drainage pipe laid under the road. They have to cross it one by one, due to its size, with the herd.

Shepherd Najeh Thalajeh Abu-Ali, 47, was the first to cross the road this morning. When exiting the underpass following his herd, he was attacked by a group of around six men, who were masked (apparently wearing their t-shirts tied around their faces). Thalajeh told B’Tselem that they beat him over the head and body with metal pipes. The attack, which was very fast, also included the stabbing of a sheep and a goat. Both died in the attack. The assailants then escaped, and the shepherds carried the victim to the road, stopped a car and took him to a Ramallah hospital. Apparently the Palestinian District Coordination Office informed the Israeli police. B’Tselem’s Iyad Haddad will accompany the shepherds to the police to file a complaint.

This is not the first attack against Palestinians and their property in the area, though recently it has been relatively calm. Although B’Tselem has documented assaults and tree cutting, the most recent spate of attacks in the area was in November 2011.

Palestinian Naji Thalji after he was beaten by masked men near a settlement outpost (photo: Ayyed Haddad)

Palestinian Naji Thalji after he was beaten by masked men near a settlement outpost (photo: Ayyed Haddad)

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