Palestinian medical sources have reported that a Palestinian woman was wounded after being rammed by a speeding vehicle of an Israeli settler, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday.
The sources said that Shamsa Sharif, 60 years of age, was moved to the Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, suffering moderate but stable injuries.
Sharif is from Huwwara village, south of Nablus. The settler fled the scene after the incident.
There have been numerous similar hit-and-run incidents in different parts of the occupied West Bank, mainly in the Hebron district in the southern portion of the West Bank.
On November 19, 2013, a young woman identified as Zeina Omar Awad, 21, was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle at the main entrance of Beit Ummar. She suffered cuts and bruises, while the settler fled the scene.
On October 16, 2013, an elderly Palestinian man was seriously injured after being hit by a settler’s vehicle in Al-Fondoq village, east of Qalqilia, in the northern part of the West Bank.
On September 29, 2013, a Palestinian worker was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle, near Husan town, west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
On September 20, a Palestinian man was injured in a similar accident with an Israeli settler who fled the scene.
A week before the incident took place, Palestinian child was severely injured after being hit by a settlers’ vehicle as she was walking home from school in Teqoua’ village, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The child Hayat Mohammad Suleiman, 8 years of age, was walking back home from school on the main road that is also utilized by Israeli settlers living in illegal Israeli settlements in the region.
- Elderly man seriously injured by speeding Jewish settler in hit and run assault (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Dozens injured after jewish terrorists attack Palestinian villagers nr. Nablus (uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com)
Israeli forces demolished a water tank and an agricultural structure in a West Bank village near Nablus on Wednesday, a local official said.
Deputy mayor of Aqraba Bilal Abdul-Hadi told Ma’an news agency that three bulldozers escorted by seven military vehicles stormed the neighborhood of al-Taweel and began demolishing the structures, claiming they were built without authorization.
Shaddad Attili, who heads the Palestinian Water Authority, said the World Bank, the United Nations and other international organizations have issued reports condemning Israel’s attacks on Palestinian water rights.
“Israel controls all the water resources in the occupied West Bank. It exploits these resources for near exclusive Israeli use, allocating a mere fraction of the available water supply to Palestinians,” Ma’an quoted Attili as saying. “While Israelis enjoy some of the highest water consumption rates in the world, Palestinians continue to face a series of crippling water shortages artificially engineered by Israel as a matter of policy.”
Israel has destroyed more than 558 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 919 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Between 2009 and 2011, Israel’s military destroyed 173 water, sanitation and hygiene structures in the West Bank including 40 wells, 57 rainwater collection cisterns and at least 20 toilets and sinks, OCHA reported.
A 2012 report by the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene group slammed Israel’s policies towards water and sanitation facilities in the West Bank, saying their extensive destruction was in contravention of international law.
- Israel to displace Palestinian community south of Hebron (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Israeli Forces Open Fire On West Bank Protests, Injuring Dozens (eurasiareview.com)
- LA Times – Israel’s policy of erasure (iajv99.wordpress.com)
One morning last September, Nadel Shafiq Taher Shatiya heard the loudspeakers of the mosque in his village, in the Nablus region, announce that settlers were approaching the village’s land. Shatiya, a photojournalist by trade, grabbed two cameras and raced to the scene.
Based on his account, it turns out that when he arrived, several tractors and settlers – who, according to the reports received by Shatiya, came from thenearby Elon Moreh settlement – were trying to plough the village’s lands while several dozen Palestinian farmers tried to expel them. A settlement security vehicle showed up, and two settlers stepped out of it (Shatiya believes he can identify them), and started shooting live ammo at the farmers. Some of them took cover; Shatiya kept taking photos. That’s his job.
About ten minutes later, a large IDF force arrived at the scene, and did what it usually does: joined the settlers. The soldiers fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at the farmers, and as the area is full of dry thorns, a fire broke out. The Palestinian farmers tried to put it out, and the two armed settlers demanded that the troops stop them (Yours truly was present for another incident, in which IDF soldiers fired at Palestinians who tried to put out a fire which had erupted after a demonstration due to canister fire.) The soldiers confronted the Palestinians, and Shatiya saw – and documented – one of the soldiers pull out a knife and threaten one of the farmers.
Our brave troops don’t know how to deal with nonviolent resistance. Major General (res.) ‘Amon Gilad became famous abroad when he told the American embassy “we don’t do Ghandi very well.” In such cases, the IDF’s instinct is to use excessive force. It makes for bad publicity, and the soldiers know that – so they try to suppress the evidence.
Shortly after Shatiya photographed the knife-wielding soldier, other soldiers assaulted him and took his cameras and camera bag from him. He witnessed another soldier tearing a phone out of the hands of a farmer, who was using it to document the incident; the farmer was beaten and detained.
So far, no surprises. Anyone who has either served in the West Bank or demonstrated there is familiar with the loving care the soldiers lavish on photographers. But in Shatiya’s case, the story underwent an unusual twist: the soldiers took his cameras to an officer, who turned them over, along with his camera bag, to a settler. Shatiya protested to the officer, saying “you’re in charge of security, and if, as part of your duty, you want to confiscate the cameras, keep them; why do you give them to the settler?” In return, the officer blamed Shatiya for the fire. Later on, Shatiya saw a settler moving among the detained Palestinians, telling the soldiers who should be kept in detention.
Turning the cameras over to the settler caused some fuss, with Israeli DCO officers telling the army it had no authority to detain journalists or confiscate their cameras, that only policemen may do so. This is inaccurate, by the way: in the West Bank soldiers have the same authority as cops, until the latter reach the scene. The Military Commander is the sovereign in the West Bank, as it is legally considered to be held under belligerent occupation; the police only act in the West Bank because they have been delegated that authority by the Military Commander. In the end, several officials promised Shatiya he’d get his cameras back, but afterwards they simply ignored and then began avoiding him.
Some 12 days after the incident, the Israeli DCO contacted the Palestinian DCO, and informed the latter Shatiya could come and retrieve his cameras. He found them broken and rubbed with sand. The damage to the cameras is estimated at 21,000 NIS (about 6,000 USD). That’s what happens when you try to document the most moral army between the Jordan and the Mediterranean while it fails to move into Ghandi mode.
So, to sum it up, we’ve had settler violence, immediately backed up by the army; the destruction of evidence by soldiers, using a settler for this purpose; yet another example of problematic cooperation between soldiers and settlers, where a settler tells soldiers who to detain and they obey, and, finally, another example of the security forces in the West bank misunderstanding their role. There’s a strain of thinking in Israel, particularly among the center and on the left, which says that the problem in the West Bank is the settlers, and that the soldiers are not at fault.
But the soldiers know full well that they are at fault – Had they felt no guilt, they wouldn’t have felt the need to destroy evidence, and they would neither have broken the farmer’s cell phone nor given Shatiya’s cameras to a settler, in order to rid themselves of responsibility for taking the cameras away from him. In the West Bank, the soldiers and the settlers are part of the same pattern, the pattern of an occupation whose inner logic is annexation by a quiet population transfer of the Palestinians.
Yizhak Shamir, an Israeli prime minister, once said that one is allowed to lie for Eretz Israel (the ‘Land of Israel”). The IDF soldiers take this one step further: in the name of Eretz Israel, they destroy evidence and intimidate journalists and innocent civilians.
On Monday morning at dawn, Israeli settlers stole ripe olives from Palestinian farms in different areas of the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained a Palestinian citizen at a moveable military checkpoint in Nablus.
Witnesses and farm owners told the Al-Quds Network that the settlers stole significant amounts of ripe olives from different farms. They also said that the settlers were hindering the arrival of many farmers who were heading to their farms in order to pick the olives.
Palestinian sources said that the settlers stole the olives from the neighbourhoods of Fara, Tal-Farata and Amateen. The sources also confirmed that the settlers were preventing farmers from approaching their farms, despite the farmers’ cooperation with Israeli officials in this regard.
Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces invaded the Palestinian city of Nablus and detained Aboud Soboh, a Palestinian from the neighbourhood of Ras Al-Ein.
Witnesses reported that after invading the city, Israeli forces set up moveable checkpoints and then they arrested Soboh at one of these checkpoints.
Two of Soboh’s brothers are currently detained in Israeli jails.
Images from alquds.com
- Jewish settlers cut down and burn hundreds of trees in Nablus and al-Khalil (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Illegal Israeli settlers destroy olive trees in West Bank with impunity (sott.net)
NABLUS — Jewish extremist settlers attacked olive groves in Deir Sharaf village west of Nablus northern West Bank on Friday night.
The settlers attacked Palestinian lands near Shavei Shomron settlement where they cut down trees and bulldozed Palestinian lands in the area, a PIC correspondent reported.
The lands’ owners were stunned Saturday morning at the site and bulk of the damages caused by the settlers’ violent attack against their agricultural lands.
Settler attacks usually witness a sharp escalation during the olive harvest season, and include the uprooting of Palestinian trees, in addition to attacks on residents, and international supporters, while picking their crops.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers burned Palestinian land planted with grapes near Kharsia settlement in al-Khalil southern West Bank.
Local sources told Quds Press that the Israeli settlers burned down a four-dunum piece of land planted with grapes owned by the Palestinian citizen Mousa Jaber.
The Palestinian farmers called on human rights institutions to intervene to put an end to the Israeli violations and attacks against them and their farms.
- Israelis torch Palestinian car, slash tires of five others (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Settlers open fire toward shepherds south of Nablus (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Illegal Israeli settlers attack Palestinian villages in Nablus (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
Kafr Qalil, Occupied West Bank - Late Friday night we received a call to accompany a farmer to harvest almonds early the following morning in Kafr Qalil, a village south of Nablus. This is a completely normal activity, harvesting crops when they are ripe and ready-to-pick; however, in Palestine, simply trying to tend to one’s land can be a life-risking event.
At times, international activists and observers accompany Palestinian farmers whose lands are close to settlements and who are at great risk for attack. For some settlers, though a limited minority, international presence can act as a deterrent against violence. For the settlement of Bracha, widely known for its unfettered brutality against Palestinians, there seems to be little that can influence the scope and scale of their attacks.
As soon as we received the call, our team began to scramble a bit- rereading our fellow activists’ reports from a few weeks ago in which the same farmer and his family were violently assaulted by the settlers from Bracha, his almond harvest and donkey stolen. We discussed our plan should the settlers attack again and reassured ourselves that the majority would likely be in synagogue all day, as it was the holiday of Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.
The following morning we arrived to Kafr Qalil around 6:30 to meet the farmer and international observers from EAPPI. After a few quick rounds of tea, we set off for the almond and olive groves in the south of the village. The farmer’s young son led our convoy, riding a donkey and carrying the tools and bags necessary for the harvest. As we walked and chatted about the general situation in the area, the farmer kept close watch over his son, calling him back anytime he rode too far in advance.
We walked the long, windy hills until we reached the groves where we split into two groups, two of us taking the higher hill and four, including the farmer and his son, taking the lower. As my partner climbed the highest hill to look for trees ready to pick, I waited down below, inspecting those badly damaged by fires set two months before by the settlers. The leaves crumbled in my hands to dust.
No more than five minutes later, in a flash of white, the settlers attacked. Without warning, around 15 men and teenage boys began running through the trees, shouting abuses and hurling massive stones toward the farmer, his son and the members of EAPPI. As I called to my partner to warn him, the settlers also began charging toward me, also throwing stones and screaming. Needless to say, and not at all an overstatement, we all ran for our lives. From the corner of my eye, I managed to spot the farmer ahead of me, struggling to run quickly as he walks with a cane. His son and the donkey were even farther ahead. One of the EAPPI volunteers was hit in the back with a stone. The settlers continued chasing us through the trees until we reached an area closer to the village, out of breath, panicked and exhausted. Eventually, when they tired of shouting at us to leave, they settled under a tree, dashing any chance of returning to harvest.
Nearly 20 minutes after the assault, the farmer got in touch with the army commander of the area, who just happened to be sitting in a military jeep on the settler road below the olive grove. The commander insisted that we walk down the steep, rocky terrain to talk to him and explain the situation. After a brief discussion, one of the soldiers arrogantly declared that they “kicked the settlers’ asses back to the settlement,” (conveniently) well after the attack and botched harvest. They assured us that they would stay in the area so that the farmer would be able to work. The volunteer from EAPPI asked where she could make a complaint about the assault, an inquiry which was met by some laughter from the soldiers who told her she was welcome to make a complaint at the Ariel police department (a futile journey, indeed).
Slowly, we marched back up the hill, listening to the farmers advice to stay quiet and keep our eyes on the horizon, should the settlers return. Unsurprisingly, the army remained quite far away, seemingly unconcerned about the potential for another assault. As we sat under the tree to make a new plan, the farmer told us about all the attacks before, the stolen equipment and donkeys, the many fires that had burned most of the trees that surrounded us. It was hard to understand how a man could remain so calm and kind after a mob of religious nationalist extremists attacked him and his family yet another time.
It felt like a failed day, as not even a single almond was picked. Only the farmer managed to keep a positive attitude. He said that the almonds that we would have harvested are not the most important thing. He came to show both the settlers and the army that this is his land, just as it belonged to his father and his grandfather before him. This is his land and he will continue to plant it and to harvest his crops. This is his land and no violence by the settlers, no violence supported by the army, will ever drive him away.
I feel really uncertain as to what would have happened if the settlers had managed to catch any of us, particularly the farmer and his son. I keep going over the event in my mind, trying to piece together an attack that happened so quickly, but was so extreme in its violence and intensity. In the end, I feel sure that if we ran a bit slower, if the farmer or his son had been caught, the day would have ended quite differently, with someone badly hurt or even killed. It is not uncommon here in Palestine, where farming one’s land must be considered a brave and courageous act.
- Jewish settlers seize Palestinian lands in Bethlehem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Journal: The day of the stolen donkey (palsolidarity.org)
- Join ISM for the 2013 Olive Harvest Campaign (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Nablus, Occupied Palestine – At 10pm on August 15th Myassar Atyani, Linan Abu Gholmeh and Leena Jawabreh of Nablus district were arrested by the Israeli police with their friend Waroud Qasem in the 1948 occupied areas of Palestine (‘48), what is now referred to as Israel. The three friends who are all political activists and former political prisoners had travelled to ‘48 to visit Waroud who lives in Tyre and has Israeli citizenship.
They were traveling together in Waroud’s car when they were stopped by the Israeli police and found to be without travel permits; Palestinians living in the West Bank require permits issued by the Israeli authorities to travel outside of the West Bank, including to the Palestinian capital Jerusalem and the rest of ’48. These permits are notoriously difficult to obtain, especially for activists. The four women were subsequently arrested and transported to Hasharon prison. Myassar, Linan and Leena were detained at the prison until their appearance at Salem military court on the 19th of August.
Waroud, also a former political prisoner from 2006 to 2012 was released from Hasharon prsison and placed under full house arrest with her driving license confiscated. She has another court hearing pending. The other three women are now being held in Salem prison awaiting a further court hearing. Leena on the 22nd of August and Myassar and Linan on the 25th of August.
Their families attended their court hearing on the 19th but thus far have been prevented from speaking with them directly by soldiers in the military court. Therefore they have only heard word of their relatives through their lawyer. Family members said that Linan told the lawyer to “Have me sentenced to what they want but don’t let them put me under administrative detention”.
Linan was arrested after her husband Amjad Mlitat was martyred by the Israeli army in 2004, and held until 2009 when she was released as part of a prisoner exchange; she was then re-arrested in July 2010 and placed under administrative detention, until the October 2011 prisoner exchange. “Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.” Administrative detention is a leftover from the British Mandate period of Palestine’s occupied past and has been exploited by the Israeli authorities to ensure that anybody resisting their occupation of Palestine can be imprisoned without justification; this violates the internationally protected right to a fair trial and means that prisoners can be held indefinitely, as administrative detention orders can be continually renewed without evidence. Human rights organisation B’tselem point out that with their regular use of administrative detention Israel violates international law, which “…stipulates that it may be exercised only in very exceptional cases – and then only as a last possible resort, when there are no other means available to prevent the danger.”
Myassar was most recently arrested and interrogated in 2009 and detained in prison for a month – she was also arrested multiple times in the 80’s and 90’s. Leena spent four years in prison from 2004 to 2008. All three women are prominent activists especially for prisoners rights and have been involved in prisoner hunger strikes.
Palestinians living in the West Bank are rarely granted permits to travel to ’48, nor to Gaza – in practical terms this means that they cannot reach the coast, the capital Jerusalem or the many remaining Palestinian cities in what is now referred to as Israel. The Apartheid Wall, illegally built, separating the West Bank from ’48, means that families and friends are divided. Many who want to visit the land lost by Palestinians who were expelled during the Nakba, or ‘catastrophe’, in 1948 are regularly denied and thus sometimes choose to travel without permission from the occupying Israeli authorities. The denial of permits is especially strict against those who are political activists and males aged 12- 35 – for these groups it is almost impossible to gain permission to travel freely in historic Palestine.
Ex-political prisoners, human rights defenders and those resisting the occupation are regularly targeted by the Israeli authorities and military for bureaucratic denial of permits, harassment, attacks and arrests.
You can take action demanding the immediate release of Linan, Leena and Myassar here.
Talfit, Occupied Palestine - In the early hours of Wednesday 3rd of July, the Israeli army conducted a large scale incursion into the northern West Bank village of Talfit, invading and trashing ten houses and arresting three men. The families of these prisoners have not heard from them in the five days since they have been in Israeli custody and their current whereabouts and legal status are unknown.
Abdallah’s father with a picture of his imprisoned son (Photo by ISM)
In a sustained invasion from around 1am to 5am, around one hundred soldiers entered the village of Talfit in a number of jeeps, heavily armed and with police dogs. At least ten families, many with young children, were forced by the military to wait in the street for many hours whilst soldiers ransacked their homes.
Twenty-six year old Abdallah Mohammed Najeeb, who works as a nurse in a Nablus hospital, was one of the three men arrested during this night invasion. He was sleeping in his home at 1am when thirty soldiers came to the door, breaking it down with an air pump and flooding into the house with dogs. According to Abdallah’s father, the soldiers ordered all ten family members, including three children under the age of four, to stand on the road for several hours; during this time, some soldiers questioned the family, whilst others were inside overturning furniture and pulling the house apart. After some time, Abdallah was forced into the jeep, wearing just his sleeping clothes and no shoes. He was driven away – along with two other men who were arrested from homes nearby – and no one has heard from them since. No justification or explanation of their arrests was given.
The father of another family had his identity card and driving license confiscated by a military commander, who stated as he took them: “you have no ID”. These will cost at least 800 shekels to replace and in the meantime he will not be able to continue his work as a driver because now he does not have the required documents to legally do so. “The soldiers shouted at them and let the dogs come very near the children – they were so afraid” said the mother of the family about her two children aged three and five, who had been ordered outside for several hours.
Several doors of homes had sound grenades thrown at them and some were physically broken in. Of the many houses that were violently searched, destroying property and furniture, some thefts by the Israeli military were also reported; money, mobile phones and even a family photo album in one case. Computers in several houses were dismantled but not removed.
Israeli military night invasions are a regular occurrence in the villages and cities of the West Bank, even those, such as Talfit, that are in Area A, thus supposedly under full Palestinian civil and security control and the Israeli authorities have no jurisdiction. The village of Talfit currently has around twenty people being held in Israeli jails, some for many years. Some are arrested with no justification whilst others are political prisoners who have been imprisoned for exercising their right to resist occupation. Under the Israeli system, Palestinians are tried in military courts, or can be held indefinitely without charge under “administrative detention”.
- Report: 1,790 Palestinians Kidnapped, 16 Killed, In First Half of 2013 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Report details ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights have reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped 1,790 Palestinians in the first six months of this year, including 300 who were kidnapped in June, and added that 16 Palestinians have also been killed by the Israeli military in six months.
The Ahrar Center said that dozens of women, children, elderly, legislators, intellectuals and journalists were among the kidnapped.
The center added that the arrests took place in every part of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, in addition to 25 arrests in the Gaza Strip, including fishermen and five arrests at border terminals.
Most of the arrests have been carried out in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the West Bank. The second highest number of arrests was carried out in Jerusalem, followed by Nablus.
Ahrar said that February witnessed the largest number of arrests as the soldiers kidnapped 382 Palestinians, while 350 have been kidnapped in January, 300 in June, 263 in May, 259 in April and 236 in March.
The center further reported that the army also kidnapped 7 Palestinian legislators identified as Ahmad Attoun, Hatem Qfeisha, Abdul-Jabbar Foqaha, Imad Nofal, Basem Za’areer, Mahmoud Ramahi, and Mohammad Jamal An-Natsha.
Furthermore, Ahrar said that the army also kidnapped 33 women, including wives and relatives of political prisoners held by Israel, and that 17 of the kidnapped women are still imprisoned by Israel.
The Ahrar Center also said that 14 Palestinians, including 10 from the West Bank, and four from the Gaza Strip, have been shot and killed by the Israeli army since the beginning of this year, in addition to two Palestinian political prisoners who died in Israeli prisons.
Detainee Arafat Jaradat, 33, from Hebron, died of extreme torture by Israeli interrogators, and detainee Maisara Abu Hamdiyya, 64, died of an advanced stage of cancer resulting from the lack of medical treatment in Israeli prisons.
Four more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military fire in the Gaza Strip.
Head of the Ahrar Center, Fuad Al-khoffash, stated that the center documented daily Israeli military invasions; daily arrests and assaults, and demanded the International Community to act against the ongoing and escalating Israeli violations.
A young Palestinian protester runs away from Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 22, 2012. - Source
Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – On Friday 14 June, the Israeli army arrested a 10-year-old child during the weekly protest in Kafr Qaddum. Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the villagers; many local residents suffered from tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 12:00, when residents and international solidarity activists started gathering for the demonstration before the Friday prayers, nearly 30 foot soldiers stormed the village from the main road leading toward the illegal Israeli settlement Qedumim. As they entered the village, they fired tear gas canisters directly at the group before the demonstration even began. Local youth resisted the incursion, chasing the soldiers back from the bystanders toward a hill overlooking the village.
Over the next two and a half hours, soldiers shot tear gas and threw sound bombs at demonstrators in the olive groves next to the main road of the village. At approximately 12:30, soldiers detained a 10-year-old boy. While in their custody, soldiers tied his hands, grabbed him by the neck, beat him and threatened to “drop [him] from this rock.”
Nearly one and a half hours later, the boy was released and residents of Kafr Qaddum celebrated his return. Soldiers continued to fire tear gas at local youth protesting at the edge of the village close to the illegal settler colony of Qedumim. No further arrests were made and the demonstration ended at around 15:00.
Kafr Qaddum is a 3,000-year-old agricultural village that sits on 24,000 dunams of land. The village was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967; in 1978, the illegal settler-colony of Qedumim was established nearby on the remains of a former Jordanian army camp, occupying 4,000 dunams of land stolen from Kafr Qaddum.
The villagers are currently unable to access an additional 11,000 dunams of land due to the closure by the Israeli army of the village’s main and only road leading to Nablus in 2003. The road was closed in three stages, ultimately restricting access for farmers to the 11,000 dunams of land that lie along either side to one or two times a year. Since the road closure, the people of Kafr Qaddum have been forced to rely on an animal trail to access this area; the road is narrow and, according to the locals, intended only for animals. In 2004 and 2006, three villagers died when they were unable to reach the hospital in time. The ambulances carrying them were prohibited from using the main road and were forced to take a 13 km detour. These deaths provoked even greater resentment in Kafr Qaddum and, on 1 July 2011, the villagers decided to unite in protest in order to re-open the road and protect the land in danger of settlement expansion along it.
Kafr Qaddum is home to 4,000 people; some 500 residents attend the weekly demonstrations. The villagers’ resilience, determination and organization have been met with extreme repression. More than 120 village residents have been arrested; most spend 3-8 months in prison; collectively they have paid over NIS 100,000 to the Israeli courts. Around 2,000 residents have suffocated from tear-gas inhalation, many in their own homes. Over 100 residents have been shot directly with tear-gas canisters. On 27 April 2012, one man was shot in the head by a tear-gas canister that fractured his skull in three places; the injury cost him his ability to speak. In another incident, on 16 March 2012 an Israeli soldier released his dog into the crowded demonstration, where it attacked a young man, biting him for nearly 15 minutes whilst the army watched. When other residents tried to assist him, some were pushed away while others were pepper-sprayed directly in the face.
The events of the past week are part of a continuous campaign by the Israeli military to harass and intimidate the people of Kafr Qaddum into passively accepting the human rights violations the Israeli occupation, military and the illegal settlers inflict upon them.
- Kafr Qaddum – Blocked from life’s basics; pushed back when doing something about it (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Palestinians demonstrate across West Bank (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- “We are the army…we will catch you or we will come to your house” – Soldiers threaten children of Kafr Qaddum (palsolidarity.org)
- Violent repression continues by the Israeli Army against protesters in Kufr Qaddum (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
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)
Sunday May 26 2013; Palestinian medical sources in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, have reported that a 7-year old child was injured after being rammed by a settler’s vehicle in the city.
The sources said that Bayan Kamel Shatat, 7, suffered moderate injuries and was moved to the Hebron governmental hospital.
Rateb Jabour, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements in Hebron, said that the child is a first grade student, and that she was returning home from school. The settler fled the scene after the incident.
On Wednesday May 22, a 9-year-old child was seriously injured after being rammed by a settler’s car in the As-Salayma neighborhood, east of the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city.
On the same day, a 16-year-old child identified as Marwan Zakariyya ‘As’ous, suffered serious injuries and was moved to the Rafidia Hospital, after being rammed by a settler’s car at the Beta Junction, south of Nablus.
On May 14, Hanin Bassem Al-Ja’bary, 7, was injured after a settler rammed her with his vehicle close to the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the Old City of Hebron. The settler fled the scene.
There have been numerous similar incidents in Hebron and other parts of the West Bank, and despite repeated claims filed to the Israeli Police, no actual and effective measure were taken against the assailants.
- Jewish settlers injure children in two separate vehicular assaults (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Three Palestinian children arrested after attack by Jewish settler children – Swedish activist also arrested (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Witnesses: Settlers open fire at Palestinian homes in Hebron village (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Jewish terror state Kidnapped 28 Children In The first Half Of May, Dozens Injured (uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com)