Nog eens: het kolonistengeweld

Het AIC – Alternative Information Center, van (onder andere) de Israeli Michael Warschawski, maakt regelmatig rapporten op van het dagelijkse kolonistengeweld. Hieronder is het rapport van mei en juni. Hun website: hier

Settler Violence Report: May and June 2008
Written by Ahmad Jaradat and Sara Venturini, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Thursday, 10 July 2008


Settlers making their way to build a new outpost.
Hebron and southern West Bank

-On 3 May, settlers from Negohot settlement in the western Hebron District placed new mobile houses 600 meters to the southwest of the settlement, with the intention to build a new outpost in the area. The land on which they placed these homes belongs to families from the Dora village. Abed al-Hadi Hantash from the Land Defense Committee noted that “this is part of a project from above to expand Negohot on confiscated Palestinian land.

– On 10 May, settlers from Efrat and additional settlements in the south of Bethlehem took over a Palestinian house which belongs to the Arts Church located in the south of the city. Khaled al-Azza, Chairman of the Committee against the Settlements and Separation Wall in the Bethlehem District, said that “the settlers came by bus and carried out their aggression in front of the Israeli soldiers, who did nothing to stop them. Beyond aggression for aggression’s sake against the Palestinians, this is a way to expand the Efrat settlement.”

– On 15 May, during Palestinian commemorations of the Nakba, approximately 60 settlers, some bearing weapons, from the Har Homa and Gush Etzion settlements located between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, entered eastern Beit Sahour. A majority originally from the United States and France, the settlers came by bus to Oush Ghrab, an area that previously hosted an Israeli military base and where the Beit Sahour Municipality, with the help of international NGOs, has now built a children’s park and barbecue site for families of the village. The site is situated near the residents’ houses and is extremely popular on Sundays, being one of the very few open spaces for Palestinian children and families in the Bethlehem area. The settlers arrived with journalists and began drawing Jewish stars and racist slogans everywhere. They claimed the place is part of Israel and that Jews must therefore remain in Oush Ghrab. The settlers wrote in various websites that the Beit Sahour Municipality is threatening to make Oush Ghrab a Palestinian neighborhood, an option unacceptable to them as the site is too close to their settlements. The Beit Sahour Municipality has applied to the Israeli Civil Administration for a permit to build a children hospital in Oush Ghrab, but this request has been rejected several times. A group of international activists from different organizations working in the area began to include the now abandoned military base in their activities. They painted the buildings in bright colors and painted messages of peace, while further organizing games and cultural events in the area. The settlers came an additional three times and were surprised to find the Palestinian and international activities in the area. Confused, the settlers began to draw new racist graffiti and each time they called on the Israeli soldiers to stand at the entrance of the military base and check Palestinians in the area.

The work of the local and international activists is continuing to this day. Even if the Israeli soldiers forbid the activists to be in the former military base, the activists organize tours, games and cultural events all around Oush Ghrab to show the settlers that this is an open and creative space, not available to be taken over for destructive projects by the settlers.

– On 18 May, tens of settlers from Kiryat Arba renewed their attacks on the Palestinian homes in Wadi Husin, located to the west of the settlement. According to the local sources, 20 houses belonging to the Jaber and Ja’baree families have been targeted by stones.

– On 20 May, tens of settlers from the settlements around Hebron began protest actions following the Israeli decision to open the east entrance of the city which leads to Yatta and the nearby villages. The entrance in question, called al-Fahs entrance, has been closed throughout the Aqsa Intifada. During the day, settlers prevented local Palestinians from using the main road and stoned Palestinian cars driving toward bypass road 60. One settler opened fire, injuring 28 year old Jawad Ahmed Idkaidek in his hand. Idkaidek, who was taken to the Alahlee Hospital following this attack, was also attacked by Israeli settlers on 16 May while he was walking on the main road to the south- east of the city. Idkaidek reported injures in his right hand and leg. After these incidents the Israeli military decided to close the al-Fahs entrance again, just ten days after it had been opened.

-On 30 May, settlers from Kiryat Arba engaged in new waves of attacks against Palestinian residential houses in Wadi Nassar, located to the south of the settlement. In Wadi Nassar, tens of armed young settlers attacked the house of Mosa Jaber in the middle of the day. Mosa’s two sons, 32 year old Thaer and Abed, were injured by the stone throwing settlers. On this same day, additional Palestinian homes near the Rjabi Building, which the settlers occupied on the 19th of March 2007, were stoned by settlers. The targeted houses belong to Ayman Mohammed Ja’bari, Bassem Fahed Ja’bari, Salah Aish Ja’bari and Mohammed Ayyoub Jaber. Palestinian residents reported that the Israeli soldiers on the spot took no serious action to stop the settler violence.

– On 30 May, approximately 100 settlers arrived with 20 cars to the Jabal Jumjuma area situated to the east of the Halhoul town in the northern Hebron District. This is not the first time settlers come there, and their ongoing presence means they intend to build a new outpost on the site. Two years ago the Israeli military closed with an iron gate the sole entrance which led to the hill on the east of bypass road 60. The Halhoul Municipality and owners of the land in the Jabal Jumjuma area have engaged in numerous protest activities calling for human rights, Israeli and international organizations to take urgent action on this issue; local Palestinians understand that a new outpost in the area will completely isolate Halhoul from the surrounding villages and land, preventing any natural development of the city in the future. In addition, the area contains numerous vineyards and the construction of a new outpost will cause the farmers to lose one of their primary sources of income.

– On 30 May, settlers from Kiryat Arba stoned the house of Kayed Sa’eed Da’na, which is located very close to the southern fence of the settlement. The Da’na family reported that the attacks occurred for two days while the soldiers present did nothing to halt this aggression.

– On 6 June, settlers who years ago occupied the Al Rajabee Building in Al Ras, located to the west of Kiryat Arba, stoned numerous Palestinian houses situated near the building, breaking windows. The assault took place in the early hours of the night to the homes belonging to Majdee Ja’baree and Bassm Ja’baree. Some stores and shops on both sides of the street were also damaged.

– On 7 June, tens of settlers from the Susya settlement to the southeast of Yatta renewed their aggressions and attacks against the Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the land around the settlement. The settlers came in the morning and after threatening them, started to stone the people working on their land, thus forcing them to leave. According to Naser Nawaj’a from the Local Regional Council, the farmers of the area have to face such violent actions from the settlers on a daily basis. The settlers believe that in this way they will force the Palestinian residents to move so later their land can be easily confiscated for additional settlement activity. Numerous complaints filed with the Israeli Police and army, but no assistance was provided.

– On 17 June, five settlers from Kiryat Arba attacked Mahmoud Abed al-Hleem Jaber, 90 years old, and his 18 year old daughter Khawla, using stones and sticks while the two were working their land close to the west side of the settlement. Soldiers came but did not take any serious measure against the aggressors. Both Mohmoud and Khalwlah were taken to the hospital.

– On 26 June, settlers from Kiryat Arba used small bulldozers to raze three dunam of land belonging to Abed Al- Kreem Ibraheem J’bari and his brothers. This land is located to the south- west of the settlement. According to one of the residents, the settlers want to take over his land in order to expand the settlement. Once more the Israeli soldiers arrived to the scene without taking action.

-On 26 June, settlers from Beit Romano attacked internationals walking in the main street of the settlement. The settlers further shouted obscene and racist statements directed at the internationals, filming and taking photographs of them. Six Israeli soldiers, who arrived when they heard people shouting, forbade the internationals to continue walking in the street, claiming the site as a closed military area. When asked to see the military order closing the site, the soldiers refused and accused the internationals of provoking the settlers. When the settlers began to be violent, the internationals asked the soldiers for protection but did not receive any. After this incident, the soldiers told the internationals they were frightened of the settlers living there. The Israeli police arrived and instead of stopping the settlers, they checked the passports of the internationals and brought them to the police station. The police commander told them he knew very well the names of the attackers, but he disappeared when the internationals filed a complaint. The aggressors seem to be the leaders of the settlement movement in Hebron and journalists from the settler media.

The same thing happened to another group of international from the International Solidarity Movement on 27 June. It is clear the settlers don’t want people walking inside the settlement where they occupied Palestinian houses. The soldiers at the checkpoint of the city’s entrance reported that these settlers attack Palestinians and internationals daily, but that they are afraid to take measures against them given their power and high level connections within Israeli society.

Nablus and the north of the West Bank

– On 3 May, 15 armed settlers from the Itshar settlement in the Nablus District attacked a Palestinian in Asera al-Qebliyya. The settlers came in the afternoon and stoned houses located close to the main road of the area. One of the victims, Jamal Yousef Salih who is living in the north of the village, reported damages to his property including the uprooting of trees and fires around his house. When neighbors came to help the Saleh family, the settlers stoned 15 year old Hamam Moneer Abed al-Lateef in his head and Ribhi Abed al-Kareem ‘Asayra, 43, in his face. Both were brought to the Rafiday Hospital in Nablus.

– On 6 May, a group of settlers from various settlements in the Nablus District attacked residents of the Boreen village, throwing stones at Palestinian farmers.

– On 9 May, tens of settlers returned to the place where the Homesh and Sanour settlements, in the Jenin district, were located before being dismantled by the military in the summer of 2005. The settlers came to the site with the army and started to stone Palestinians cars driving on the main road. From time to time settlers show up in large numbers at these sites as part of an on going protest against the dismantlement of these former settlements.

– On 9 May, 20 year old Rasahd Ali Khater from the ‘Ain Senya village, died after being shot by a settler from the Ofra settlement, to the north of Ramallah. The settlement guard, who was patrolling with his horse, opened fire on several Palestinians because they were too close to the settlement. Khater’s body was brought to the Ramallah Hospital.

– On 16 May, 20 settlers from the Itshar settlement, in the southern Nablus District, attacked many houses in the Aser al Qebliyya village. The houses, which belong to Qasem Mohammed Hasan and Jamal Yousef Saleh, were targeted by stones. The settlers also used also teargas against the villagers.

– On 26 May, settlers attempted to set up mobile houses on confiscated land in the village of Bili’in, west of Ramallah. According to Iyad Birnat, chairman of the Popular Committee against the Separation Wall, local residents gathered in the place and tried to prevent the settlers from staying on their land. The army, for its side, started to forbid the Palestinians from reaching the site.

– On 29 May, pigs belonging to settlers from the Ariel settlement in the District of Salfeet were released on a site called Fraiz, to the north of the city. Fields and trees which belong to Fikree Zorba were damaged by the pigs. The family reported that this occurs on an ongoing basis in spite of all the complaints they raised with the Israeli side, either individually or officially through the Palestinian Authority. These aggressions usually happen in the night, so that it is easier to scare families and children while they are sleeping. In the past some people have reported injures.

– On 1st June, the Israeli Authority continues to build new housing units in Alfei Menashe settlement, in the eastern Qalqilya District. The land in question, 500 dunams confiscated in 2004, belongs to families from Asla village. In the Qalqilya District there are 19 settlements, and Alfei Menashe is one of the biggest. On June 7, approximately 20 pigs attacked the farmers in Nijara, iSalfeet. This area is cultivated and planted with different trees. In the Salfeet District there are 20 settlements.

-On 6 June, settlers from the Hashmonaim settlement, in the Ramallah District, built on land belonging to residents from the Ni’lin village and attacked participants of a weekly non-violent protest against the Separation Wall. Israeli soldiers cooperated with the settlers in attacking the demonstrators. Some settlers opened fire. Local residents usually report soldiers who violently oppress demonstrators, but this time even the settlers were allowed to be involved.

– On June 12, a group of settlers from the Itshar settlement in the south of the Nablus District, attacked Palestinians walking on the main road between the Anabous and Howwar villages. Samer Mustafa Haj Ali, 25 years old, reported injures to his back and face, while Ahmed Khalaf Mohammed Abed al-Hameed, 33, was stoned in his head. Both were taken to the Rafidya Hospital in Nablus.

-On 18 June, Abed Ellateef Ali Barham, 70 years old from the Qaddom village in the east of Qalqilya, was taken to the hospital after a settler from the nearby settlement of Kfar Kadumim, ran him over on the main street and drove away.

-On 19 June, for three days hundreds of settlers from many settlements in the north of the West Bank, especially from Itsha, committed serious aggressions against villagers and their land in the Howwar, Boreen and ‘inYbous villages, to the south of Nablus. The settlers arrived by car and bus, closing the main road to the north of Nablus, throwing stones on every passing Palestinian car. In the Howwrah village, settlers stoned houses and opened fire on the villagers. On the second day, settlers burnt more than 100 dunam of land, planted with olive trees, on a hill near Hawwrah. When the Palestinian firemen came from Nablus to stop the fire, Israeli soldiers prevented them from reaching the place.

– On 19 June, three settlers tried to enter Joseph’s Tomb, in the east of Nablus. According to the agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, this Tomb is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority as it is located in Area A. The PA authorities in the city informed the Israeli side about this violation. Later the Israeli army came and forced the settlers to leave the place. Palestinians sources reported that the settlers, especially the religious ones, come regularly to the site, which they claim as a Jewish holy place.

– On 26 June, settlers from the Miskiyot settlement located in the Tubas District, expanded the border of the settlement by moving the fence forward. According to local sources, approximately 30 dunams were thus confiscated. Settlers from Miskiyot used to attack and run after the farmers in nearby villages such as Almaleh.

– On 27 June, settlers from the Halmesh settlement, to the north east of Ramallah, built on land which belongs to Palestinians from the Nabi Saleh and Dair Nitham villages, burning tens of olive trees. The settlers here are known for their aggressions against Palestinian land, during which they generally burn or uproot trees located around the settlement. According to the residents and local sources, such actions are aimed at expanding the border of the settlement.