Burin and Madama, Occupied Palestine – On Monday 3rd June, around a dozen settlers from the illegal colony of Yizhar set fire to Palestinian’s fields in the villages of Burin and Madama, destroying at least 50 acres of arable land with olive trees. The settlers were joined by a jeep of border police when 40-50 Palestinians from the village of Burin came out to attempt to put out the fire, with some being stopped from doing so by the border police present.
As people from the two villages south of Nablus were hoping for an uneventful workday, the settlers from Yizhar, renowned for being one of the worst for settler violence, set fire to fields in the Khallat al-Injas neighbourhood of Madama. One young person there desribed how, “then I went there quickly with my friends and tried to extinguish it. During that time the settlers went to the eastern area which is between Madama and Bureen. They set fire into the hills there.”Before long, the enormous fires spread across the field and towards the olive tree groves of neighbouring Burin. Shortly after, Israeli border police turned up at the scene in Burin’s land, delaying the extinguishing of the fire.
Of the Palestinians that gathered, the Israeli border police only allowed uniformed firemen and those from the Palestinian Authority’s civil volunteer service to put out the raging fires. Those who approached to help were threatened with pepper spray. The fire was eventually slowed down when the border police left and the community was able to help. Areas of the hills still burned when volunteers were leaving at around 6 o’clock in the evening. The Israeli fire service appeared in case the fire spread to settler-occupied land, but did nothing to help the Palestinians nearby.
This level of violence is far from unheard of in the villages of Madama and Burin, which like other villages in proximity to Yizhar, are both subject to regular crop burnings, harassment and serious violence from the illegal settlement, who, with the assistance of the Israeli occupation forces, show no signs of stopping their assault on the surrounding Palestinian land and its inhabitants. Residents of Burin also face harassment from the Israeli army, which includes the tear-gassing of a Burin home, with a months old baby inside, during this February’s ‘al-Manatir‘ demonstration. A protest for which the village has received several military reprisals since, including destruction of the local cultural centre.
Yizhar is at the forefront of settler violence and operates a strict “price tag” policy, where any action taken by the Israeli government on illegal settlements within the West Bank must be met by carrying out harsh and violent crimes on Palestinian communities. It’s has frequently produced anti-Palestinian propaganda, including literature justifying the killing of Palestinian children and material supporting the actions of mass murderer Baruch Goldstein.
- Villages of Urif, Burin and Asira violently attacked by settlers (palsolidarity.org)
- Jewish settlers setting up tent and planning road on Palestinian owned land in Al Khalil (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Arson attack on Asira village by illegal settlement of Yitzhar (palsolidarity.org)
- Palestine: Israelis kill more than 750 olive trees with chemicals last week & 100 dunums of Salfit land confiscated (realisticbird.wordpress.com)
- Settlers Spray Olive Trees With Toxic Chemicals (imemc.org)
Mahmoud Nasser Asaus (17) and Magdi Loai Najjar (24) were arrested last night by Israeli forces in the village of Burin and are now being held in Kishon Interrogation Centre in Haifa. Residents of Burin suspect this is the start of a wave of arrests following the Al-Manatir protest that took place In Burin at the beginning of February.
Several jeeps entered Burin at around 2.30am to raid Mahmoud and Magdi’s houses, taking them, handcuffed and blindfolded, to Huwwara military base. At 7am this morning they were transferred to Kishon Interrogation Centre where they are still being held.
These arrests come after the neighbourhood of Al-Manatir was established on a village’s hilltop threatened with confiscation by Israeli settlers. The protest camp was aimed at denouncing Israel’s grab of Burin’s land and to recover the hilltop which has been inaccessible for residents of Burin since 2007.
However, the neighbourhood of Al-Manatir, made up of metal huts and tents, was violently evicted by Israeli soldiers and border police on the same day it was established. Israeli forces protected and accompanied settlers from the nearby settlements of Bracha and Yitzhar; while they were stealing metal huts and throwing stones at Palestinian activists. Simultaneously, around twenty settlers attacked several Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Burin and chopped down one hundred olive trees. When Palestinians ran to the area to defend their homes, stone throwing between settlers and Palestinians ensued. Zakaria Najjar (17), was shot in the right leg with live ammunition by a settler.
During the eviction, eight people were arrested and three of them remained in Israeli prison for twelve days, finally being released without charges. Further reprisals took place in Burin the days following Al-Manatir. Ghassan (23) and Mohammed (19) Najjar were arrested for several hours and interrogated about the protest camp. In addition, the village was sealed off by military checkpoints. The hilltop continues to be inaccessible for residents of Burin.
Following last night’s arrests there have been further incursions into the centre of Burin today. The Israeli army again tried to raid the village resulting in confrontations that began at around midday. Tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets were fired directly into the gathering crowd; as yet no serious injuries have been reported. A further arrest was made by the Israeli authorities, Bahar Adnan Imran who is just 14 years old.
- Israeli troops force out 200 from camp (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Shepherds In Nablus, Hebron (imemc.org)
Here is where Israeli colonial settlements continue to expand on our lands. Here is where Israeli elites make billions from injustice while nature and people suffer. Here is the forefront of a global struggle. Here is where western hypocrisy gets exposed. Rhetoric about democracy and liberty in Syria and Iran is stripped naked when people see Western supported colonialism, racism and subjugation in Palestine. Here is where billions of Western taxpayer money is used to destroy life while enriching land thieves and war criminals. Here where we lost most of our land to colonial settler activity and suffer regularly from racist settler attacks. Here is where morality is shed daily because of paranoia and inferiority/superiority complexes (chosen but eternally victimized Jewish “people”). Here is where immorality has become a norm of society (see good analytic piece in Haaretz below). Here is where yesterday the Israeli occupation army and racist colonial settlers attacked villagers in Burin. Several Palestinians were injured (one 16-year old Palestinian was shot by live ammunition from settlers). 18 were brutally arrested/kidnapped including our friend Ashraf Aburahma from Bilin. Ashraf was himself arrested many times in nonviolent demonstrations. In one videotaped event, he was handcuffed, blindfolded and THEN shot at close range by occupation soldiers.
But here also is where we must and we will change things. Here the struggle goes on (La Luta Continue, tastimur almasira) to hang on to our humanity. We Palestinians with help of people of conscience from around the world must do better to challenge immorality (including “mental occupation”). We must work harder to undermine apartheid and repression. More people come to visit and participate with us in our struggle thus lighting candles in the darkness. We must accelerate this and be more bold. Nothing scares the elites in the apartheid state or their Western and Arab/Palestinian collaborators than actions like civil disobedience and BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) and other forms of practical resistance. There are signs of a new uprising/intifada. It will be the 13th or 14th wave/uprising on the way to liberty. We hope it is a global uprising against injustice and that is why many of us talk with internationals on a daily basis about morality, justice, and human rights. Of course there will be pain along the way (as happened yesterday in Burin) because no freedom is acquired without struggle and sacrifices. May the families of those thousands of martyrs killed in the struggle be comforted. May the injured heel. May the prisoners be released (some are now close to death as they engaged in a hunger strike). May all the suffering end. May more people shed immorality and join us to work to accelerate the end of injustice.
Do visit Palestine frequently even if only in your mind.
Just one story of thousands in the land of immorality: The struggle of Burin village
Videos before the evictions and arrest but shows settlers throwing stones
Video of beating and kicking a Palestinian during the arrests
Standing defiant. Khalid Daragmah’s family protect their land in a sea of settlements
Follow-up: In my talks and in taking delegations around, I sometimes mention some things which happened in the past like the story of the “fugitive cows” in Beit Sahour or the destruction of a playground in Beit Jala. Here and in future emails I will send some follow-up on these stories and on stories I had shared in previous emails. They are not only relevant to those who heard directly from me about these things but to the thousands of others who receive those emails.
The Story of 18 fugitive cows of Beit Sahour
Video of the Israeli destruction of a playground to build an apartheid wall on Palestinian land
Never Again – unconditionally:
“As Jews, with our own painful history of oppression, we are compelled to speak out against human rights violations committed by the State of Israel – in our name – against the Palestinian people.” These are the first words of a group of South African Jews in their public statement in the Mail & Guardian of 14 December 2012. They recognize not only their own wounds and humanity…………
Big Brother: When secrecy becomes a norm in Israel, it comes as a price premium
- Israeli troops force out 200 from camp (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- The most violent settlement in the West Bank encroaches on Asira al Qibliya (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Eighteen Palestinian-owned olive trees were destroyed by settlers in the village of Burin, near Nablus, when settlers attacked the Palestinian land Tuesday 4 September 2012. Burin, located in the northern West Bank, comes under frequent attack from the settlements of Yitzhar and Bracha that encircle the village.
Under the cover of dark, settlers from Yitzhar entered the olive grove of the Nasser Qadous family and began cutting the branches from his trees. This is not the first attack on his land. Two years ago the settlers burned his land, which consists of 5 dunums. The following morning Nasser Qadous arrived in the olive grove and found all his olive trees destroyed. After one hour the Israeli army, police, and The District Coordination Office (DCO) arrived at his land. They spoke with Nasser but he says that they have taken no action to find those responsible.
Located seven kilometers southwest of Nablus, Burin is the home to 3000 residents. From every position within the village you can see evidence of the Zionist occupation. Three of the most volatile settlements within the West Bank, Yitzhar, Bracha and Givat Arous reside on the hilltops of Burin. Yitzhar is the largest of the three settlements and was founded in 1984. Yitzhar consists of 1233 dunams and according to Peace Now, 35 per cent of the land is privately owned Palestinian land. The villagers in Burin are predominantly farmers and the fields that surround the village full of olives trees are testament to this. However, the land has been under threat since the start if the occupation in 1967.
Yitzhar settlement is notorious for its fanatically ideological residents, the violence they inflict on neighboring Palestinian communities, and the extremist doctrines they espouse. Settlers have frequently launched attacks with rocks, knives, guns and arson on Palestinian families and property in the area. In one of the most extreme act of terrorism students of the Yitzhar Od Yosef Hai yeshiva fired homemade rockets on Burin in 2008.
Despite West Banks settlements’ status as illegal under international law, Yitzhar was included in the Israeli governments’ recent “national priority map” as one of the settlements earmarked for financial support. Construction has continued unabated in both Yitzhar and Bracha. Yitzhar and Bracha also receives significant funding from American donations, tax-deductible under U.S. government tax breaks for ‘charitable’ institutions.
- One year after killings: Iraq Burin continues its struggle (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Sleepless nights in Burin (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- 8 injured as settlers stone bus carrying worshipers (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Settlers of notorious illegal Yitzhar settlement destroy olive trees in Nablus village (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Israeli Terrorist set fire to around 130 olive trees in a northern West Bank village (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)