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Lambs to the settlers' slaughter, screaming and unheard

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Settler violence against PalestiniansThere were more than 50 reports of Israelis assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank last month. In the start of a regular series, Haaretz details one particularly violent attack

There is still a bruise under Ibrahim Bani Jaber's left eye. The blows his brother Jawdat received to his right ear didn't leave any marks, but they still make his head feel heavy. During our meeting at their home in the West Bank village of Akraba last week, they did not spend much time describing the fear and pain they felt when they were attacked. Instead, they spoke about the family's sheep, that they had rushed to try and save that day, July 7, when they heard that settlers were attacking them.

The violent confrontation - between settlers from Itamar and Giva 777, and Palestinian residents of Akraba - was the worst such incident last month. But it was, nevertheless, merely part of the daily routine of assaults, attacks and incursions. It is only on rare occasions that these incidents become news. In most cases, if there is an investigation there is no indictment.

The map presented here shows the various assaults from last month alone, but it is not complete because it does not include Jerusalem. It is based on reports that have been cross-checked, and eyewitness testimonies from the Ta'ayush Arab Jewish partnership, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the B'Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Haaretz will continue to follow events on a regular basis and the way they are handled by the authorities.

On Saturday July 7, when the Bani Jaber brothers were working in a wheat field, their brother Jihad - who was tending the sheep - telephoned them in a panic. "Settlers have arrived at the spring and they are slaughtering the sheep," he shouted. The two brothers were some three kilometers from the spring and orchard, east of the village of Yanun. Jawdat, 44, went to speak with the soldiers who had accompanied the Palestinian farmers to their fields.

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