Two masked men attacked and wounded Ismail Adara, a 67-year-old Palestinian shepherd on Monday, in the cave village of Bir al Eid in the South Hebron hills, as he was grazing his flock near the village. He was rushed to hospital in Hebron with wounds in the neck and fingers, and with possible head fractures.
Adara was grazing his flock on Monday afternoon next to the village, a few hundred meters from the residential buildings of the unauthorized settlement outpost of Mizpeh Yair when he was attacked by two masked men. Two of his young children, a boy and a girl, were near the scene of the attack. Immediately afterwards, he managed to use his cell phone to call Kamer Mashraqi Assad, a lawyer with the organization Rabbis for Human Rights, who notified the IDF and the police.
According to Adara, they arrived on the scene some 45 minutes after the attack. Adara told the lawyer that shortly before 5.30 P.M. he was saw two Israelis whose full names he knows driving a car and dropping off two masked men from the vehicle. The two attacked him with a razor and beat him on the head with sticks.
Adara had in his possession a thick rubber hose, which he uses while herding his flock, and he claims he protected himself with the hose, and might have managed to hit one of the two men who attacked him in the face.
Adara was taken by military ambulance, and remembers that he lost consciousness for a while. Near the Sussiya settlement, he was transferred to a Red Crescent ambulance. As far as is Mashraqi Assad knows, police asked Adara’s two young children about him, but have still not been in direct contact with the shepherd himself.
Due to repeated harassments by Israelis who live in the area, residents of Bir al Eid gradually left the village in the early 2000s, with the last resident leaving in 2003. Traffic restrictions imposed by the army and building prohibitions imposed by the Civil Administration made life there even more difficult. Residents complained to police of harassment which included the killing of their sheep, the burning of fields and crops, damage to their property, blocking access to the village, setting dogs on them, and dumping sheep carcasses into cisterns.
In a visit to the abandoned village in autumn 2007, Haaretz photographer Alex Levac, a Haaretz reporters and UN staff were attacked by two Israelis from the outpost. After a legal battle led by Rabbis for Human Rights, the residents returned to the village in 2009. Adara, who is married to four women, was one of the residents who was most anxious to return to his home, despite fears of recurring attacks. In the past three years, the residents have again complained of harassment, such as repeated damage to pipes that carry water from the well, sheep stealing, property damage and trespassing.