Yumna Patel reports in Mondoweiss:
A photo of an armed Israeli soldier, surrounded by dozens of his fellow soldiers, standing on the back of a Palestinian man as he lie face down in the ground went viral on Palestinian social media this week.
The photo was taken in the midst of a brutal Israeli crackdown on activists as they attempted to escort a group of Palestinian farmers to their land in order to harvest their olive trees in the al-Ras area west of Salfit, in the northern occupied West Bank.
Activists and local farmers who were at the scene told Mondoweiss that the man in the photo, Palestinian activist Mohammed al-Khatib, was violently beaten, kicked, and punched in the face by Israeli soldiers before he was thrown on the ground and dragged across the rugged terrain before he was stepped on, and eventually blindfolded and taken into custody.
“The soldiers attacked us all in an extremely aggressive manner,” Munther Amira, a Palestinian activist with the Popular Resistance Committee in the West Bank, who was at the scene on Monday, told Mondoweiss. “We tried to reason with them and tell them we were just trying to help the farmers reach their land so they could pick the olives, but they refused,” Amira said.
According to Amira, al-Khatib was one of several activists who attempted to move past the soldiers and arrive at the olive groves nearby. When he did that, the soldiers attacked.