Israeli Settlers Annex More Lands in Tequ’ town

Israeli Settlers Annex More Lands in Tequ’ town


Tequ' isa Palestinian small townLocated 9 Km southeast of Bethlehem, it has a population of 8000 inhabitants and spread over approximately 90 Km2 of land eastward to the edges of the Dead Sea. After the 1967 war, Israel declared the large part of Tequ' as ''closed Military areas'' & Natural Reserve areas, which literarily placed 60% (54 Km2) out of community reach. The remaining 22 Km2 (25%) are Tequ' town built-up area, agricultural Land, grazing lands (classified as Area ''A'' & Area ''B'') and Israeli settlements areas. The following table illustrates Tequ' lands as fragmented:

Tequ' Land Distribution



Area/ Km2


Palestinian Built-up Area



Agricultural Lands within the village boundaries



Village Public Use Areas



Pastures Lands



Israeli settlements area



Closed Military area & natural reserve





In recent years, the Israeli settlers; empowered by the Israeli Army denied Tequ' farmers access to 3 Km2 of land cultivated with olive trees (45000 tree) which translates to 150 tons loss of olive oil (600,000 USD) over 3 olive harvest seasons past by. The overall agricultural status in Tequ' is crumpling; the agricultural lands are shrinking and the agricultural sector is diminishing as employment declined from 60% to only 25% as a result of land expropriation and denial of access to the lands. See Photo 1


The Israeli settlers most recent attack on Palestinians lands were made on February 8, 2004 when the settlers seized a chunk of agricultural lands called ''Romman'' estimated at 150 Dunums (60 acres) located in close perimeter of the Israeli settlement of Tequ'. The Israeli settlers threatened the indigenous Palestinian owners who have proof of ownership dates prior to the existence of the State of Israel not to enter the land. The areas of the Israeli settlements originated on Tequ' lands were designated for the town's resident's future territorial expansion. See Photo of Israeli settlement of Tequ' 2 & photo 3


Today, the Israelis are threatening to expropriate further areas of the designated sites for cultivation and pasturing to annex it to the settlements areas. The increasing Palestinian population in Tequ' is threatened by territorial suffocation to result from Israeli land expropriation and expansion of existing settlements. The Israeli Army has handed more than a dozen demolition orders for houses and public buildings within Tequ' boundaries in the last year; including a demolition order to Tequ' Municipality building which include a kindergarten for the children of the town. Furthermore, Tequ' Municipality received a restriction order to utilize their own dumpsite located 10 Km east of the town boundaries. If such restriction is carry out; the town will most likely to suffer environmental and health related problems especially that 50 %( 4000 people) of the town's residents are under the age of 18 years.


That is not all what Tequ' residents denied access to in their own town. Wadi Khritoun, a historical site and a natural reserve area located to the south is under Israeli control and is considered off limits for the residents of Tequ'. Tequ' hamlet, a Roman, Byzantine and Mamlouki historical site suffering the restrictions implemented on the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism to protect and renovate the site, which resulted in relic theft from the site.

The Israeli control of Palestinian resources has exceeded lands and historical rights to include water rights. Tequ' area is considered the second largest block of aquifers in the West Bank. It contains nine aquifers only three of which under Palestinian jurisdiction with restriction on annual pumping and the remaining six aquifers are under Israeli control ''Micarot''. 

Until some time not long ago, Tequ' was shut in with 13 different kinds of checkpoints and roadblocks, some of which the entrance of the town while the other was rigged internally within the town's boundaries to restrict the residents' movement inside their own town. Today, only three roadblocks and earth-mound remain in and around the town, as the town residents removed the remaining roadblocks on their own. See Photos of Checkpoints and Earth mounts in Tequ' town. See Photos  of Checkpoints 4, 5 & photo 6,





Prepared by:

The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem



Categories: Confiscation