The confiscation of Kafr Alabad and Shufa lands for the enlargement of Avnei Hefetz Settlement

The confiscation of Kafr Alabad and Shufa lands for the enlargement of Avnei Hefetz Settlement

On April 8th, 2005, The Israeli army distributed a new military order numbered T/77/05 stipulating the confiscation of 418 dunums of Palestinian owned agricultural lands in the villages of Kafr Al Labad and Shufa in Tulkarem.

The land confiscated is located in:

  • Basin number 2: Wadi At Tamer, Al Hafasa, and Deiraban areas of  Kafr Al Labad western lands.

  • Basin number 2: 'Iqda, Wadi Al Jamus and Khallet Ash Sheik areas of Shufa eastern lands in Tulkarem governorate.

( Photo 1: copy of military order))

As mentioned in the military order, the targeted land will be used for the establishment of a new security fence around the settlement of Avnei Hefetz with an average width of 58 meters and a length of 7220 meters (about 418 dunums).

These 418 dunums will make room for the construction of the fence. It is worth mentioning that ever since its establishment, the settlement has been surrounded with a' security fence' and there is no need for another one.  An additional 1700 dunums will be segregated between the newly planned fence and the existing fence surrounding the settlement. Therefore, the real aim behind this confiscation is the enlargement of the above mentioned settlement at the expense of Palestinian lands and under the pretexts of safeguarding the settlement's security (a pretext often used as a cover for settlement expansion in the West Bank and Gaza Strip). 

Glance about Avnei Hefetz Settlement

The settlement of Avnei Hefetz was established on lands originally confiscated from the villages of Kafr Alabad, Shufa, Izbat Shufa, Al Hafasa and Kafa. In 2003, it housed the population of 964settlers (Foundation for Middle East Peace).

Map 1: Location Map

Kafr Alabad village is located to the southeast of Tulkarem city and houses a population of about 3700 inhabitants; while Shufa village is located to the south of Tulkarem city and houses a total population of nearly 900 people.

Palestinian land owners and farmers from both villages will suffer the following economic, social, and psychological effects as a result of this expansionist plan:

1.     The total of at least 2118 dunums of fertile agricultural lands, mostly cultivated with olive trees of Roman species, will be deducted from Kafar Al Labad and Shufa lands, depriving as much as 60 % of the population of the two villages of their livelihood after they had lost their jobs as constructional workers inside Israel following the eruption of the second Intifada in the year 2000.

2.     The devastation of land under the path of the fence will cause the uprooting of more than 14400 olive trees.

If the military order is implemented, there will be no geographical contiguity between the Palestinian villages of the area as they will be cut apart by the confiscation of the lands and the construction of the fence. Besides, such an act will deepen the sense of frustration and dissatisfaction amongst Palestinians due to the ongoing Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.

On their part, Palestinian land owners presented an objection to the Israeli military objections committee through lawyer Fathi Shubaita, but yet to no avail.

1 Security fence as known to the Israeli Government.



Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Military Orders