The expansion of Emanuel settlement in Nablus

The expansion of Emanuel settlement in Nablus


The settlement of Emanuel was established in 1981 on lands carved out of the villages of Deir Istiya and Jinsafut in the Nablus district. The settlement is located southeast of the city of Nablus on the road linking it to Qaliqiliya.


Emanuel has been growing and expanding at the expense of the Palestinian inhabitants of the two villages. The expansion took many shapes and forms, as the story of the villager Abdullah Bashir stands witness to. The attempts by Jewish settlers to take over Mr. Bashir's land are not unique as our survey indicates a similarity of methods used by settlers throughout the Palestinian Occupied Territories to grab as much land as possible.

The area of Mr. Bashir's land is 151 dunums, is lying directly to the southwestern edge of the settlement. Two more pieces of land owned by Mr. Saif Bahlool (150 dunums) and Mr. Hussain Abdul Jabbar (150 dunums ) are adjoining Mr. Bashir's estate. These three estates together are located at Jabal Al Deib ( Al Deib Mountain)and Khilet Al Murjah.

Picture of land besides the settlement


The harassment of the Palestinian owners of the land started in 1982. After a series of attacks that led to the uprooting of more than 700 olive trees, the owners of the land filed a legal complaint against the settlers in the Israeli High Court. The Court ruled in favor of the Palestinian owners of the land, which gave them the right of unrestricted usage of the land. Yet, despite that court ruling, the aggravation continued unabated leading to a violent clash between Mr. Bashir and colonist Moshe Zer in 1992. Mr. Bashir was arrested as a result of the assault and was fined a hefty $13,000 in addition to $7,000 attorney and court fees. When Mr. Bashir refused to pay the bill, the settlers and the Israeli authorities started targeting another piece owned by Mr. Bashir in Marj Amer (see related story).

A series of attacks took place throughout the years; in 1993, the settlers set fire to the remaining trees, and in 1997 they attacked the land once again and set fire to the newly-planted trees. Finally, in 1999 the eldest son of Moshe Zer filed a request with the Israeli Land Registration Authority (ILRA) in Beit El to register the land in his name. The request was granted and the formal procedures took effect. The three Palestinian owners hired the lawyer Hisham Al Nasser to appeal ILRA's decision. On October 7th, 1999, Mr. Nasser present documents to ILRA that proves that the three owners have owned the land since the time of the Ottoman Period. The rule on this case is pending on the 18th of November 1999.

For Mr. Bashir and many others like him such daily practices make achieving peace in the region an illusion that is hard to achieve. Mr. Bashir needs to see it as a fact on the ground. The daily attacks by the settlers make that far from happening.



Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlement Expansion