Name: Hamzi J.
Date of incident:
21 July 2012
Tuba, West Bank
Nature of incident:
Settler violence

On 21 July 2012, an eight-year-old boy and his brothers are attacked by settlers as they grazed sheep near their house south of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

Eight-year-old Hamzi lives in the village of Tuba, in the south of the West Bank. “The Israeli settlement of Ma’on is about one kilometre west of the village,” he says. “A few years ago, the Israeli army installed a metal gate at the western entrance of the village, on the road that connects Tuba with other villages. That road passes near the settlement, so the gate is closed most of the time, and the army only opens it for its vehicles and for settler cars. We, on the other hand, have to use a very difficult road to get to the village, and we can only reach it by foot or by donkey,” Hamzi explains.

“At around 5:00 pm on Saturday, I was grazing sheep with my brothers Yousif and Salah near the gate, around 700 metres away from the settlement. Suddenly Yousif shouted ‘look!’, and I saw a car coming from the settlement. The car stopped at the gate and three settlers rushed out, jumped the gate and came running towards us. They had their faces covered and they started throwing stones at us.”

Hamzi and his brothers wanted to escape, but they could not leave the sheep behind. “We started getting confused and scared of being hit by the stones or being caught and beaten,” he says. “Yousif told Salah and me to go quickly to call my father and my brother Ahmad while he stayed with the sheep.”

When Hamzi, his father and brothers came back to help Yousif, the settlers started shouting at them. “They were insulting us and calling us ‘sons of whores’ and other insults. We did not respond. Then they stopped throwing stones, got in their car, and drove back to the settlement.” Hamzi says this is not the first time this has happened to them. “About four months ago, they also chased us away because we came close to the settlement,” he recalls.

Source: Defence for Children International