AIC, January 21, 2011
The Alternative Information Center monitored and recorded Israeli settler attacks and violations during the final two months of 2010.
As will be demonstrated, settler attacks continued during this period and were concentrated in the north of the West Bank, especially in the Nablus District. Trees were the most common target, with burnings and land confiscations, especially land close to settlements, which serve the aim of expanding settlements and providing strategic points for attacks on Palestinian residents traveling by road.
Several of the attacks were done with full cooperation of the Israeli army and in plain sight of soldiers, who did nothing to prevent the settlers from attacking and burning trees.
Hebron and South West Bank Region
At midday on 11 November, settlers from the Takoa settlement to the southeast of Bethlehem threw stones at the students of the girls school in the Tako’a village. Students from the school were engaged in a demonstration against the soldiers who had stopped in front of the school, which is located near the main road. Settlers who were travelling on the road stopped their cars and threw stones at the students.
On 11 November, settlers from the Beitar Illit settlement, west of the Bethlehem District, opened the pipes of the settlement’s sewage onto the land of the Hosan village to the east of the settlement. The site targeted by the sewage is called Al-Haraeq and is planted with grape vines and olive trees. According to the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry Office for the Bethlehem District, more than 20 dunams of land were subsequently covered by sewage. The issue of sewage in this area is not new. From time to time the settlers open sewage pipes on land belonging to Palestinians and numerous trees have been damaged and died.
On November 15, settlers from Bat Ayin settlement to the north of the town of Beit Ommar, north of the Hebron District, burned 20 grape vines belonging to Thaljee Adee. The soldiers in the area prevented the fire brigades from entering the field to stop the fire. According to Mohammed Ayyad from the Palestine Solidarity Project in Beit Ommar, around 15 dunams of land were targeted by the fire.
On 27 December, a group of settlers from the Ashkilot settlement, in the south of the Hebron District and located on the Green Line, attacked farmers from the Ramadeen village. Farmer Majdi Shihda Zamil told the AIC, "A settler who we know, his name is Ori from the Ashkilot settlement south of my village, came with other settlers and fenced around 200 dumans of the areas of Shi’b Abu Shaikha, Khallet Khader and Khallet Zamil. These sites are very close to the Green Line, and located to the west of the aforementioned settlement. A few days ago, when we went to our land, there were many settlers, some of whom were armed, and they came and tried to force us to leave. When we refused, some physical fighting occurred between us and them. The Israeli soldiers who came forced us to leave. Later we decided to come regularly to work our land in cooperation with local committees and internationals who support us." Farmer Mosa Hasan Amro, who is 70 years old, said, "We will not leave our land and allow the settlers to take it."
Nablus and North of West Bank Region
On 13 November, settlers from the outpost of Kalia, east of the Nablus District, burned dozens of dunams of land belonging to families from the Salem village . The site that was targeted is known as Joret Naser and is located on the east side of the town. Around 150 olive trees were burned as a result of this action.
On 9 November, settlers from the Maskiot settlement, in the northern valleys, confiscated around 200 dunams of land for settlement expansion. The settlers also fenced the land. Many Bedouin of the small villages in the north used the land for feeding their goats and planted it with wheat.
On 16 November, settlers from the outpost of Gev’at Gel’ad, located between Nablus and Qalqelya, burned around 100 olive trees on land located near the outpost. The land belongs to families from Jet village. According to Naser Al-Sadda the mayor of the village, "When we were informed by the farmers about the attack we went with the fire brigades to stop the fire, but the soldiers who came prevented us from entering for two hours. Tens of settlers threw stones at us in sight of the soldiers who didn’t stop them." The targeted site is called the Al- Baidat area.
On 20 November, tens of settlers from the Rechelim outpost, south of the Nablus District, began working on and leveling the land around the settlement to prepare for expansion. The land belongs to families from Yatma and Al –Sawiya villages. The settlers brought bulldozers and began damaging the land in the morning. According to resources from the Settlement File Office in the north, hundreds of dunams will be targeted by this expansion. The land is planted with trees, particularly olive trees, and is the most important income resource for dozens of families, mainly the Abo Dawlah, Abu Saleh, Abo Shaheen, Al Beik and Al Haj Sulaiman families of the two villages and who are the primary owners of most of the land.
On 22 November, tens of settlers from the Shilo settlement south of the Nablus District prevented farmers from Qaryout village from entering and working on land that is close to the settlement. Mofeed Jameel, the secretary of the local council in the village said, "A group of settlers, some of them armed, came and stopped the farmers who were working on the land that belongs to my village. The settlers tried to confiscate it and prevented the farmers from working on it for a long time, but the farmers raised the issue in Israeli courts and received a legal decision to work on the land. However, the settlers attack the farmers from time to time." The area of the targeted land is around 50 dunams.
On 22 November, settlers from the Alei Zahav settlement in the Salfeet District began expanding the borders of the settlement by annexing more land for it. The land belongs to Palestinians from the villages of Dair Ballot and Kufr Al- Deek. According to Land Research Center researcher Raed Moqadee the settlers have started leveling more land and uprooting the trees on dozens of dunams using bulldozers . The targeted land is located to the west of the settlement. Jamal Al-Deek, the Mayor of Kufr Al- Deek village said that 100 dunams were targeted by the settlers’ action.
On 23 November, settlers from Shilo and Shvut Rachel settlements in the south of the Nablus District began damaging and leveling land, using bulldozers to create a link between the mentioned settlements .The land belongs to Palestinians from the nearby village of Jalod. According to Ghassan Doglos, the Settlements File Coordinator in the north of West Bank, more than 50 dunams are being targeted by this new confiscation in order to make connections and build new roads between both settlements. This means that additional land will be isolated when the roads are finished.
On 25 November, settlers from Kistra settlement, south of the Nablus District, attacked farmer Abed Al -Hameed Tawfeeg, who is 45 years old and from Qisra village. At least five settlers attacked him while he was shepherding his goats on his land, which is close to the village. The settlers attacked him with their hands and also used stones. He was injured in the head and was taken to the hospital. The attack happened in the afternoon.
On 30 November, dozens of settlers from Yitzhar settlement, in the south of the Nablus District, burned 12 dunams planted with olive trees. The land belongs to Palestinians from Madama and Asera Al- Shamaliyya villages. The targeted site is called Madama- Spring and is to the south of the villages. The soldiers who came to site prevented the farmers from entering the area to stop the fire for two hours. As a result, 12 dunams were burnt . Later the soldiers allowed the fire brigades, which came from the city of Nablus, to stop the fire. According to local sources, this area is targeted by settlers from Yitzhar from time to time, especially during the olive harvest season.
On 2 December, settlers from many settlements in the north of the West Bank burned 10 dunams at a site called Khallet Awana. The land targeted was the site of the Homish settlement, before it was dismantled by the Israeli army in 2005. The settlers who refused to participate in the dismantling of Homesh settlement, along with four other outposts in the north of West Bank, sometimes return to the area participate in aggressions against the Palestinians and their land. According to Ghassan Doglas, the Settlement File Coordinator in the north, "Ten dunams planted with olive trees were totally burned."
On 14 December, a group of settlers from the settlement of Kistra, in the Nablus District, attacked the shepherd Faiz Ibraheem Hasan, who is 28 years old and from the village of Qasra, while he was shepherding his goats on his land. The site is called Allahaf and is located to the south of the village. The settlers beat him and killed two of the goats.
On 17 December, settlers from the Ma’ale Efraim settlement, south of Nablus, burned 12 goats and injured some others belonging to farmer Sameer Mohammed Khader Bani Fadel from the village of Aqraba. According to village mayor Jawdat Bani Jabber, "The settlers attacked the farmer Sameer, age 40, while he was shepherding the goats at the site Al-Taweel, which is close to the Ma’ale Efraim settlement. A group of settlers, some of them armed, came in cars and called Sameer to come to them. When he refused and ran away, the settlers gathered the goats in a place where there is a lot of wood, and burned them. The event resulted in the death of 12, who were totally burned, and injury to two." The Israeli army promised an investigation into the event. Sameer reported that the goats are his only source of income, which he has now lost as a result of this attack. He has a family of six.
On 17 December, the settlers from the settlement of Giv’at Gil’ad, south of the Nablus District, damaged trees and vegetables belonging to farmers from the village of Tal. The attack happened at night. One dunam of planted trees was totally damaged.
On 17 December, in the middle of the night, hundreds of settlers under Israeli Army protection entered the village of Kufel Hares, east of the Salfeet District, to pray in a place inside the village that they claim is holy for the Jews. The soldiers closed the village and prevented the residents from leaving their homes until morning, when the settlers finished their praying and left the village. According to local village sources and human rights organizations, including previous AIC reports, the settlers come to this village to pray in large numbers from time to time.
On 23 December, the settlers from the outpost of Shvut Rachel, south of Nablus, brought 20 new mobile houses (caravans) and built them on land they recently confiscated for expanding their outpost. The land belongs to farmers from Qaryot and Jalod villages.
On 23 December, the settlers from Yitzhar tried to prevent the farmers from Madama village from working on land located near the settlement. The settlers threw stones at the farmers and some physical clashes occurred. The day before Israeli soldiers also prevented the farmers from working at the same place, which is located to the south of the village. According to local council sources in the village, the settlers uprooted some of the olive trees belonging to farmer Jadallah Naef Nassar.
On 27 December, around 30 settlers from Yitzhar settlement, in the south of the Nablus District, burned 60 olive trees on land that belongs to families from Madama village. Hasan Ziyada, a member of the local council told the AIC, "The settlers came in groups, each group had around 6- 8 settlers, and started to burn trees in different places. The targeted site called Ayn Al-Sha’ra. Later when the farmers came to stop the fire the settlers tried to prevent them from entering the place, which caused physical fight between both sides. Some farmers were beaten by settlers."
On 29 December, settlers from the Rotem settlement, in the northern valleys, entered and worked on 35 dunams of land belonging to the village of Al-Farisiyya. Marwan Tobasi, the governor of Tobas and the northern valleys said that the settlers confiscated the land in cooperation with the Israeli Army, in order to expand the settlement by taking more land from the area. The settlers also cultivated the property.