I have land in an area called “Rumani”, about 30 dunams. It is about 5 km north of Sinjil and 300 meters north of the outpost Givat Haroeh. I grow olive, almond and fig trees.
On Saturday April 4, 2009 at around 8:30 am, I went to plow my land with my uncle MA. We had two tractors. We plowed for maybe ten minutes when eight settlers with M-16 rifles and guns came and told us to stop working because we weren’t allowed to plow land that didn’t belong to us, and that we weren’t allowed to be there without the DCO. I replied that every year we plow without any trouble.
Three days later, I realized that the name of the settler who talked was S. he’s thin, not tall, has braces on his teeth and is slightly dark skinned. He wears a black kippah, a black shirt and jeans. He had a gun in his belt and a camera, he filmed the whole time. I recognized another one of them, he walks around the area and guards the outpost. His description: short hair in the back and bald in the front, wears sunglasses and carries an M-16 rifle, has light skin, isn’t fat, wears a white kippah. There were six others guarding. There are photos of them in the village. The way they spoke, their gestures, the way they shoved and cursed, it was very violent. They claimed that we are liars and land thieves.
I told him this is our country and our land and that we aren’t thieves. This land was our fathers’ and grandfathers’. I asked to call the police so that they would decide, he said it was Saturday and that there was no army, no police and no DCO, so we should go home. One of the settlers opened the tractor’s gasoline tank, to put dirt in it. I decided to leave because it was getting violent. We took the tractors. Like at a soccer match, one of the settlers shouted: “we won! We won!”
I called up the head of the council, he informed the Palestinian DCO, and they informed the Israeli DCO. We went about a kilometer back and sat under a tree to eat our breakfast. The light skinned guard with the white kippah came up to us and said, “Why are you here? Go home!” I explained that we were eating. I called up the head of the council to ask whether there were forces on the way and he said they were dispatched. We waited for 1.5 hours but nobody came, so we decided to go home.
It was around Passover. The head of our council coordinated with the DCO for after the holiday. It was arranged for Sunday April 19, 2009 with officer A from the Israeli DCO at 8 am. A promised there wouldn’t be any more problems, soldiers would keep the peace. We arrived as we arranged. A and his soldiers were there, as well as S the settler, the settlement guard (the bald guy), and three others, one with glasses, red hair and white clothes. A asked where we wanted to begin and I showed him. He asked, “For how long?” I said an eight-hour day and maybe some more tomorrow. S called A aside, talked to him and then A returned and said to us: “The settlers are angry, you can only work here for two hours and then go work somewhere else, I don’t want any trouble!” The settler interrupted and said, “Not two hours, only 1.5 hours.” A left and an officer stayed. We began to plow. After exactly 1.5 hours, S and other settlers returned and didn’t let us continue. We had to stop. A, before he left, coordinated the rest for the next day, so we could finish the entire plot.
On Monday we returned in the morning as arranged. The DCO officer and four soldiers were there. A said goodbye and said there wouldn’t be any trouble. We began working. S and the guard came over and started interfering, standing in front of the tractors and telling the drivers to smile for a photo. S said the tractors don’t have their registration and that he demands the papers and that we stop working. I went to the officer. He said they would call the police.
Half an hour later, two policemen arrived and asked, who is in charge? I said I was. They demanded our IDs and papers. We gathered the papers we had (S stood with the policeman as though he were part of the inquiry), I asked why they were bothering us in the middle of the field and a coordinated work day. The policeman said we didn’t have all the necessary paperwork but let us carry on anyway.
We finished that plot and coordinated with the officer to plow the next plot. We moved the tractor and began working. After half an hour, S arrived. I went over to the officer and asked him to remove S because he was interfering with our work. S didn’t listen and continued bothering us. I walked over to him and asked him to move away from the tractor, I put my hand on his shoulder and he claimed I was shoving him. He wanted to file a complaint for shoving. The policeman told him to go file a complaint at the police station. The policeman asked for our papers. I said that policemen came an hour ago and checked. He said that was his job, and that I could file a complaint against S at the police station for interfering. I said I’d go tomorrow, not today in the middle of work. I told the DCO officer who was sitting under a tree far away that A left him in charge so that we could work. He said he didn’t work for me or for A. The policeman allowed me to finish working and gave me a summons for the police station the next day. We moved to another plot and finished working peacefully.
The next day, on April 21 I went to the police station, I gave them the summons. An officer named G investigated me. He wrote up what happened yesterday but not the background of the events that happened on Saturday and Sunday. He gave me a form for requesting information from the police. I didn’t receive a confirmation for filing a complaint. The police officer G called the settler S and summoned him. G asked me to identify him, and I did. Then I went home.
Two days ago, on Sunday May 10 a policeman named R called me. He spoke Arabic and told me: there’s your complaint against S, and S complained against you. If you drop yours, he will too. He’s sorry for everything he did and doesn’t understand what came over him. I refused.
Law Enforcement Authorities’ decision upon conclusion of investigation
On May 15, 2011 the State Attorney’s Office rejected the appeal, claiming that “S understood his conduct was inappropriate and apologized.” And that “Given the circumstances, the public interest in its wider context was concluded.”