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Women's Voices: Salam Y. - Settler violence

Name: Salam Y.
Age: 20
Location: Burin village, West Bank
Date: 2 February 2013
Incident: Settler violence
   
On 2 February 2013, a mob of settlers from Yitzhar and Bracha attacked the West Bank village of Burin, terrifying local women and children.
 
Twenty-year-old Salam lives with her husband in the West Bank village of Burin. Their house is located near a road used by Israeli settlers from Yitzhar. At around noon, on 2 February, Salam was at home with her mother-in-law. “I was watching her cook when all of a sudden I heard the voice of a women screaming,” recalls Salam. “I looked out the window towards the hill where the settlement is built and saw about 40 settlers running down the hill towards my house. Some of them were carrying sticks and some wore masks. I was terrified and shouted loudly to alert my mother-in-law.”
 
“Minutes later, when word spread that settlers were about to attack us, young men from the village rushed to the area to try to protect our houses. Clashes erupted and it looked like things were getting out of control. I was scared and didn’t know what to expect because this was the first time I’ve seen this since I got married and moved to this village 10 months ago,” says Salam. “I am not used to settlers.”
 
 “A short time later, Israeli soldiers showed up and started firing tear gas at the young men who were throwing stones at the settlers to stop them approaching. I felt I wanted to cry but held back. My husband was at work so I didn’t call him but called my brother-in-law instead. About 15 minutes later tear gas filled the house and I was unable to breathe. A cloud of gas filled the room and I couldn’t see anymore. I heard the voice of my brother-in-law who then held my hand and dragged me out of the house. At that moment I lost consciousness and fell on the ground. I don’t remember what happened next, but when I gained consciousness I found myself outside the house. I was still confused and bewildered and instead of walking away from the settlers I walked towards them until my brother-in-law stopped me.”
 
“I spent the rest of the day at my brother-in-law’s house in the centre of the village and didn’t go back home until the evening. When I came home I didn’t find my mother-in-law and was very worried about her. My neighbour told me she had to be rushed to the hospital because of the tear gas. She was released later on that day. I will never forget this incident, I felt sick and tired for days. I feel unsafe in my own house and worry that settlers might attack the village again. My house is exposed and there is no one who can protect us.”
 

keyword: Violence against women