The Middle East Monitor reports that the former president of Rabbis for Human Rights had on Wednesday been violently assaulted by Israeli settlers. Rabbi Arik Ascherman was surrounded by settlers and beaten with a wooden club.
The brutal attack took place near the Maale Ahuvia illegal settlement outpost, when Ascherman went to the area to request Jewish shepherds to divert their flock from ploughed fields which belonged to Palestinians. Ascherman said, “The brutal attack on me happened because Israeli security forces didn’t stop the flocks from entering Dir Jarir lands to eat what is growing there.” He said IDF members were present, watching, as he was being assaulted.
Last month, Ascherman had had to have stitches in an ear as and his arm checked for broken bones at a hospital following an attack. He said that over a period of time he has filed more than 10 complaints with the Israeli police.
Ascherman said that the settlers, “go on an almost daily basis to steal what others have planted in order to cause sufficient fear and financial loss to get the Palestinian Bedouin to give up, and not come back to their summer homes where their animals graze on what they have planted.”
Ascherman had served as president of the Rabbis for Human Rights for more than 20 years. He later founded the Israeli human rights organisation Torat Tzedek (Torah of Justice). The Middle East Monitor reports that he hasoften placed his safety at risk to protect Palestinian farmers from the violent settlers.
Umm Muhammed Umar