I'm fundraising on behalf of my dear friend, Cassandra, who has been working tirelessly to support the people of Masafer Yatta (South Hebron Hills), in the occupied West Bank. She has been traveling there for a few months each year, at her own expense, to live and work in solidarity with the nonviolent Palestinian resistance in places where illegal settler outposts threaten the lives and livelihoods of Palestinian residents. On March 7, Cassandra was violently attacked by an Israeli settler. She was left bleeding and unconscious and had to be hospitalized due to a skull fracture.
As a result of this attack, Cassandra needs to extend her stay as the court case against this settler proceeds, which means she will have not only the additional expenses of her time there but will lose significant income as she misses several more weeks of work back in the US (she is self-employed). We are asking for your support to defray the medical costs and additional travel expenses and help Cassandra remain in Palestine so that she can testify in court against her attackers.
Here is Cassandra's account of what happened and why your moral and financial support are so important:
"I am a citizen of the US currently visiting Palestine. I’m 64 years old. On March 7, I and another international were attacked by Israeli settlers while standing on the outskirts of the Palestinian village of Tuba in Masafer Yatta. I was hit from behind, hard, with a large stick, and my companion was chased and threatened by a settler with an iron bar. The settler who hit me fractured my skull, broke my eardrum, and caused a bleed in my brain.
This is what the colonialism of Israeli settlers looks like for Palestinian families living in Masafer Yatta in the southernmost end of the West Bank. Supported by Israeli military and Police, settlers from the many settlements and illegal outposts in Masafer Yatta are systematically stealing Palestinian land and violently forcing people from their land. To be here now in these 15 villages is to witness ethnic cleansing in real time.
In addition to daily settler threats, attacks, land theft, property destruction and violence, the area’s 1300 residents, more than half of them children, are facing imminent forced removal from their homes to make way for the use of their lands by the Israeli military as a firing zone.
An Israeli high court decision in May of 2022 ended a years long legal battle by residents for the right to remain, and now the largest forced relocation of Palestinians since 1967 could happen at any moment. Israeli forces have already demolished schools, homes, roads, wells, olive trees and agricultural buildings, and delivered demolition orders to every single structure.
As US taxpayers we contribute more than 8 million US dollars a day to the state of Israel. This is what we are buying. The strangulation of villages that are pinned down between illegal outposts. The shepherds forced to sell sheep to buy feed because they cannot access the land they planted a month ago. Women who face settler attacks while trying to reach a hospital in labor. Children who watched as their classrooms were demolished by Israeli forces with their desks and papers still inside. Families waking to the sight of entire olive groves burned or uprooted in the night by settlers. A young man about to be married shot and paralyzed by Israeli soldiers while attempting to save his village’s only generator from confiscation. The death of a beloved elderly man run over and dragged by a heavy equipment trailer during a police raid to confiscate cars in his village.
The humans living in Masafer Yatta desperately need the world to witness the bitterness of colonialism in their fields and olive groves. They desperately need us to pay attention.