Women's Voices: Sana S. - Settler violence / Jerusalem women

On 26 November 2014, a woman from Silwan, in East Jerusalem, is attacked by a group of settlers who try to drag her into a vehicle.

Sana lives with her husband and children in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. Her youngest child is three-years-old. Sana suffers from severe migraines for which she need specialized medical help. “On 26 November 2014, I had a migraine all day. I took my medication but nothing seemed to help.”

“At around 7.00 p.m. I took a taxi to a medical centre for treatment. Following treatment I left the medical centre and decided to walk home. As I was passing by an Israeli settlement located in the middle of our neighborhood, I suddenly became afraid. It was raining and I noticed that I was alone in the street and it was dark. I feared an attacked by settlers so I started to walk faster. Usually I’m not afraid to go home alone, but this time I had a feeling that something bad was about to happen.”

“A few minutes later I heard a sound of a car driving behind me then I saw the lights coming closer. The vehicle suddenly accelerated and I had to jump off the road so as not to be run over. I was in the process of picking myself up when the car stopped and I saw three Israeli settlers inside. One of the doors to the car opened and somebody tried to drag me into the vehicle by my jacket. Someone else grabbed my head scarf and pulled my hair. Meanwhile the first settler was prodding me with an object on my hand, shoulder and back. Each time I tried to run away they would pull me back to the point where my hair was being ripped out by the roots.”

“At the time I feared I was being kidnapped as with Mohammed Khadeer, a Palestinian teenager kidnapped and burned alive by settlers few months ago. As this thought came to my mind I became even more frightened. The third settler was sitting behind the wheel watching the road. When he noticed a car was coming he warned the others. The settler who was pulling me by my jacket kicked me so hard that I fell to the ground and they drove away.”

“The other car that passed by didn’t see me and kept on driving. However, another car came along and a man got out and tried to help me. I was still very confused and in pain. My ribs caused me pain and my head was bleeding. The man put me in his car and asked me what had happened but I could not speak. He then asked me where I lived and I was able to gesture in the direction of home. When we arrived outside my house the man hooted and my husband came out of the house. He was horrified when he saw the condition I was in. Once inside I was finally able to explain what had happened to me.”

“My husband took me to Hadassah hospital and I was given a CT scan. They found that I had fractured ribs. Once they found out I was hit by a settler I was concerned that I would not be given proper treatment and so I left before my head wound had been treated. While I was at the hospital the Israeli police asked me what happened. When I told them that I was attacked by settlers they suggested that perhaps I had been beaten by my husband. I insisted that I was attacked by settlers. My husband would never do such a thing.”

“In the past two weeks I have only left my house once. I fear for my family and myself. I no longer feel safe or secure. The tension in our neighbourhood caused by the settlers causes a lot of stress at home. I now spend a lot of time in my bedroom when I feel anxious. I don’t want my children to see me like this.”