Hatem Abu Ziadeh, head of the workers’ committee at Zarfati Garage, along with his wife and young daughter, was assaulted on Saturday March 30 by a group of about 30 armed settlers at his family olive grove. Abu Ziadeh lives in Jibya, near Bir Zeit in the West Bank. The settlers, it seems, came from the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish.
As head of the workers’ committee at Zarfati Garage in Mishor Adumim, unionized with WAC-MAAN, Abu Ziadeh led the struggle for the first collective agreement of Palestinian worker in the Settlement Industrial Zones, signed in 2017. It was Abu Ziadeh who encouraged the workers to join WAC-MAAN and thus create an extraordinary cross-border partnership between Israelis and Palestinians.
The settler thugs who attacked Hatem and his family on Saturday morning arrived at their olive orchard and threatened to attack the family. When Hatem and his wife and daughter started to drive in their car the violent group surrounded the car and started to throw stones at it, breaking the windscreen and hurting the family that was inside and unable to run away. The family was taken to the Ramallah hospital and released that evening. After being released, Abu Ziadeh submitted a claim with the Palestinian police in Bir Zeit. It should be noted that the claim is unlikely to achieve much, since the Palestinian Police has no authority to investigate or prosecute the Israeli settlers and can only transfer the claim to the regional DCO (the joint security coordination between the Israelis and Palestinian side). Experience shows that the chances of it being investigated and the perpetrators apprehended are close to zero.
This kind of attack is a direct result of the lawless Apartheid regime that controls the West Bank where for Jewish settlers everything is permitted; for Palestinians, nothing. While Palestinians are subject to the whims of the army and the settlers, exposed to assaults, threats, and the destruction of property and agricultural produce, the occupation regime is merciless towards every Facebook post or any other protest by Palestinian youth.
Da’am Party issued a call for the end of this destructive anarchy and Apartheid regime, in which two legal systems exist side by side in the occupied territories. Da’am fights for one equal democratic regime within one single state. This will grant civil security for both Israelis and Palestinians, and put an end to the occupation and terror of the settlers, which has gone on for more than 50 years.
Da’am supports Hatem Abu Ziadeh and stands in solidarity with his family, and will continue to assist him and all Palestinians in their demand for personal freedom and basic human rights. Da’am supports strongly the effort of Hatem Abu Ziada to unionize with WAC-MAAN, and to struggle for their rights in an equal society that respects every single human.
Translation – Yonatan Preminger