Palestinian shepherd attacked by masked men

Six culprits armed with knives and rods allegedly assault Najeh Thalajeh near the West Bank village of Mukhmas

A Palestinian shepherd was attacked by six masked men on Sunday morning while tending his flocks outside the village of Mukhmas, north of Jerusalem, a human rights group said.

Najeh Thalajeh, 47, was herding his sheep and goats when six masked men attacked him with knives and rods, injuring his face and head, the rights watchdog B’Tselem said. The culprits ran away from the scene.

As part of their grazing route, shepherds from Mukhmas, about 18 kilometers (10 miles) north of Jerusalem, walk through a concrete culvert that passes underneath Route 60, which is used by Israelis and Palestinians.

Thalajeh was the first through on Sunday morning, and the attackers were apparently waiting at the end of it.

Thalajeh told B’Tselem that the attack did not last long, but before running away, the masked men stabbed a goat and a lamb from his herd.

A friend told Ynet news that Thalajeh needed 75 stitches in his head and upper body.

Fellow shepherds got Thalajeh to the road, where they flagged down a passing automobile and brought him to a hospital in Ramallah.

Some of the other shepherds told B’Tselem that they saw the masked attackers running away.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident.

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