Bedouin shepherd assailants; Photo credit: Free use
Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 14:45 On the morning of Tuesday, July 6, four Bedouin shepherds threw rocks at Jewish shepherds near Kochav HaShahar, injuring them. The Jewish shepherds called the police, who detained one of the assailants. The other three assailants escaped. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher is assisting the Jewish shepherds, who went to the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station to file a complaint. More than three hours later, they were still waiting to file their complaint. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sent a letter to the Binyamin Police and the Binyamin Brigade Commander, describing the attack, demanding that the escaped assailants be detained and demanding that all of the assailants be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A summary of the letter is as follows: Bedouins leading a flock of sheep began to approach a group of Jewish shepherds. They came very close to the Jewish shepherds’ flock, intentionally herding their flock through the Jewish shepherds’ flock. The intended result of herding in this manner is stealing another shepherd’s sheep. At this point, the Bedouin shepherds started to throw rocks at, shout at, and curse the Jewish shepherds. The Bedouin shepherds gradually increased the force of their attack until it became a barrage of small boulders that posed a substantial danger to the lives of the Jewish shepherds. One of the rocks hit one of the Jewish shepherds in his chest, and another hit his arm. One of the Jewish shepherds asked another to call the army and the police. Another shepherd was also hit by a rock. Miraculously none of them suffered a lethal head injury. IDF forces arrived and detained one of the assailants. The other three escaped. The incident is of particular concern because shepherds are a easy target and a weak point security-wise. They work alone in the same isolated areas, on a daily basis, far from any source of assistance, and are known and familiar targets. Attacks on Jewish shepherds, who are usually alone in a field, by several assailants, can easily result in murder. Therefore there is a great need for strong deterrence which will send a message that attacks will not be tolerated. The letter concluded with a demand for a strong and unequivocal response to the assailants, including holding the apprehended assailant in remand until the end of proceedings, urgently apprehending the remaining three, and prosecuting all of the assailants to the full extent of the law.