Toen ik jaren geleden in Hebron was heb ik het zelf gezien. In het midden van de stad huist een groep kolonisten, en wel van het meest agressieve soort. Stelselmatig waren ze bezig de Paslestijnen die nog in de omgeving woonden weg te pesten. Rotzooi gooien op de huizen beneden, stenen gooien en schelden naar de kinderen die er langs moesten op weg naar school. Palestijnse winkels onder de Davidsterren kalken. De kinderen raakten geheel verzenuwd en de ouders durfden ze niet meer buiten te laten spelen.
De Israelische politie staat er bij en kijkt er naar. Met een paar honderd kolonisten is de gehele binnenstad van Hebron, waar ook de belangrijke Palestijnse groentemarkt eens was, onherbergzaam geworden voor de oorspronkelijke bewoners. Straten zijn afgezet, mensen moeten een grote omweg maken om veilig naar school of hun werk te kunnen. De winkeltjes in de omgeving zijn al gesloten. Wanneer er een joodse feestdag is hebben de Palestijnen huisarrest en mogen niet naar buiten.
Sommige mensen die nu op een doodlopende weg wonen, afgesneden door de kolonisten, konden hun vuilnis niet meer af laten halen, en moesten die zelf wegbrengen. Langs de checkpoints, waarna ze die zakken vuil om mochten keren om te laten zien dat er verder niets inzat. Een man die groente verkocht werd werkloos, omdat hij niet meer met zijn auto naar zijn veld of naar huis kon. Ik bezocht toen een familie die ten einde raad was, maar toch niet van plan was om te vertrekken, omdat ze dan hun enige bezit, hun huis, kwijt zouden zijn. Want verkopen is er ook niet meer bij. En dat is de bedoeling, zo wordt het terrein langzamerhand uitgebreid. Met intimidatie en bedreigingen, met het doodschieten van schapen, ontwortelen van olijfbomen, zorgen dat de boeren hun oogst niet binnen kunnen halen. Af en toe grijpt de politie even in, of wordt er iemand voor de vorm licht veroordeeld. Dan gaat het weer gewoon door.
Het was de eerste keer dat ik het zag. Niet geuniformeerde mannen met een half-automatisch geweer over de schouder. Kolonisten is het toegestaan om gewapend over straat te lopen. Om zich te verdedigen, wordt er gezegd. Wie de Palestijnen verdedigt tegen de kolonisten is niet aan de orde.
Het Israelische Alternative Information Center houdt het kolonistengeweld bij. Hieronder de oogst van december. Daar valt het gewone dagelijkse pesten niet onder.
AIC Settler Violence Report for December 2006
Written by Ahmad Jaradat, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Six-year-old Mohammed Faras el-Atrash sustained injuries to his neck and shoulder when a Jewish settler opened fire at him at 9:00 am. Mohammed was walking with his father near Bypass Road 60, in an area called Qalqas, south of Hebron, when the settler, who was driving his car at the time, stopped and shot at them. Medical sources in al-Ahlee Hospital in Hebron stated that Mohammed was injured seriously in his neck and right shoulder. It is well known that many Palestinians have been shot on this road by settlers in recent years of the Intifada. Many of these incidents have occurred during the evening hours, when pedestrians are walking home. Due to these dangers, Palestinian residents have avoided using this road or walking near it during the night.
On the same day, a group of settler women gathered and remained for some time on land located to the west of the Kiryat Arba settlement, to the east of the city. The land belongs to the Palestinian Jaber family, and has been targeted by the settlers in order to confiscate it. However, the case has been through the courts. The intention of the group was to
mount pressure on the family and send them the message that the settler community will obtain the land sooner or later and annex it to the settlement. Israeli soldiers arrived and prevented the Palestinian owners of the land from entering it to protest against this action.
Settlers from Ramot Yashai in the Tel Rumeida area of the old city of Hebron, renewed their attacks against the residents of the area. They beat three Palestinian children from the Tayseer Abu Aisha family with sticks. The children are 10-year-old Fida, 14-year-old Ibraheem and 7-year-old Waleed. The attack occurred while the three were walking home after school. On the same day, settlers from Kiryat Arba stoned the house of Kayed Seed Dan, located to the south of the settlement. The
aggressive incident occurred during a settler march being held on the street near the house.
Settlers from the Susya settlement in the southeast of Hebron, uprooted 60 olive trees belonging to Khaleel Musallam Khalaila from the town of el-Samou. The uprooting of the trees occured only two days after the family, in cooperation with Internationals from the Solidarity Movement and the Agriculture Work Committees in the district, planted them.
Khaleel said that his land is located one km to the south of the
settlement and this aggression is one of tens of attacks that the settlers have carried out on his land in the past years. A few months ago, the settlers burned his crops. Attacks are continuing in spite of two declarations he succeeded in obtaining from the Israeli courts that called upon the Israeli military to prevent the settlers from attacking his land. Khaleel added that he has brought 90 cases of complaint against the attacks to the Police in the last three years, but no positive outcome has been achieved only empty promises have been made.
The family of Tayseer Abou Aisha from Tel Rumeida in the downtown area of Hebron stated that “a group of settlers from the nearby outpost of Ramot Yishai renewed the attacks against the family. The settlers stoned the house and the 17-year-old daughter, Raja’, was injured when a stone struck her back” Raja’ reports that this is the second time that the
house has been stoned in the last two days in view of the soldiers at the checkpoint close to the house, who did nothing to stop the attacks.
Settlers from Tena settlement, south of the town of Dahireyya, in the south of Hebron District, leveled and damaged around 200 dunam of land that was recently planted with wheat. The farmer, Shehda Hasan Woriadat reported “the settlers damaged 40 dunam belonging to me and other 150 dunam belonging to others families from my town. The land that was targeted is located 3km to the south of the mentioned settlement. The
settlers used tractors and bulldozers to carry out their aggressive attack, which lasted two days. It appears to us that the settlers wish to establish a new settlement in the area. Three months ago, they built a new road link between the main road and the areas where the attacks took place.”
Nablus and North of West Bank
Three Palestinian residents were injured after a settler ran over them with his car. The event happened while the three were standing at Hawwara checkpoint, south of Nablus. The motorist was driving his car at a high speed and caused an accident with three Palestinian cars that were waiting to pass through the checkpoint, before colliding with the three residents who were also waiting to pass. The soldiers called for Israeli ambulances and took the injured people to a hospital in Israel.
Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers, after checking the settler’s
papers, released him.
The Israeli military began demolition work on land that is located near the Avni Havits settlement, south of the Palestinain city of Tulkarem. The aim of this work is to prepare the land for building a new portion of the Separation Wall around the settlement, but the land in question belongs to many families from Palestinian village of Shofa. Tahseen
Hamed from the Palestinian Land Defense Committee, reports that “the work started on the land before the court decision, because we raised the case to the Israeli Court against the confiscation order of this land which was issued before, but it seems that the army didn’t want to write the decision. It is important to know that around 2,000 dunam will be inside the Wall, and this land is planted with olive trees. This means that the confiscation of this land and the loss of the trees will
have a negative effect on the economic life of the owners and will limit their income. It is also important to note that this village has lost 5,000 dunam in the past for settlement projects or roads.”
Tens of settlers from many settlements to the north of Nablus gathered for a march in the Palestinian village of Wadi Maleh, east of the city of Tobas. The settlers rallied in the area and some of them were armed.
No one knows why they came and what the aim of the action was. The settlers spent all the day in the area and during this period the Palestinian farmers vacated their fields to avoid any clashes or confrontations.
Dozens of Jewish settlers gathered at the Homish outpost, which was dismantled 16 months ago. Palestinian Land Defense Committee member, Fateen Salal, from Borqa village, where the outpost was established on his land, said “the settlers came in seven cars and two busses and settled themselves in the area. During the evening, more settlers came to join them. The [Israeli] Army later forced them to leave the area.
Israeli military bulldozers began leveling and damaging a large tract of land located to the east of the village of Jinsafout, belonging to the Basher and Abed el-Jabbar families from Jinsafout village in Qalqilyah District. The aim of the work on the land is to expand the Jewish settlement of Immanuel. Local Palestinian Council sources reported that the Israeli military damaged this land five years ago. They have now returned to continue their work, which strongly suggests that they are
going to confiscate and annex it to the settlement.