Palestinians from the northern West Bank village of Burin claimed Thursday that in the past few days they have suffered a series of attacks at the hands of Jews from the nearby settlement of Bracha in an effort to keep them away from grazing land.
According to the Palestinians, the settlers set nearly one acre of land on fire, fired into the air and even launched rockets toward their homes. No injuries were reported in either incident.
Abu Morasi, a local shepherd, said the settlers want to abolish him and his fellow shepherds from the disputed land in order to establish a new outpost nearby. According to him, during the past week the settlers have fired mortars toward the village on two separate occasions.
"Yesterday (Wednesday) they set up tents (on the land) but the army came and dismantled them," he said. "They don’t want us anywhere near the land so they can take it over and gradually advance toward the village.
"Today officials from the Civil Administration and the police arrived and tried to clear the settlers from the area, but they left without warning the settlers, and seconds later the settlers continued firing into the air and we threw stones at one another." Abu Morasi, 57, said.
"We shepherds are afraid to go out on our own to the fields for fear of being attacked. The settlers kill a goat or a sheep from time to time without any Israeli authoritative body stopping them."
The Judea and Samaria Police said in response "we have yet to receive a complaint regarding the burning of fields," but added that two days ago Palestinians filed a complaint saying settlers from Yitzhar of Bracha fired a missile. Police said security forces entered the village in search of the missile.
"The Palestinians handed parts of the 'missile' over to the police – or more like pipes they say are used as missiles," police said, "the IDF transferred the parts to Border Guard sappers, and their examination revealed that the parts were either cylindrical bins used to hold flares or firecrackers.
Efrat Weiss contributed to the report