The Village of Salem Between the Israeli Military Occupation and the Israeli Settlements

The Village of Salem Between the Israeli Military Occupation and the Israeli Settlements


The village of Salem is located to the east of the city of Nablus. It borders the lands of the town of Dier Al Hatab from the north, Biet Foreik from the south, the lands of Rojeib from the west and the lands of Biet Dajan and Al Aghwar from the east, all located in Nablus Governorate.

Area and Populations:

The total area of the lands of Salem is about 10,000 dunums. The area used by the population for housing purposes is about 750 dunums. The population is about 5,500 people whose affairs are run by a village council. See map 1


Map 1: Salem village location

Economic Situation:

The village of Salem is considered to be active in the agricultural sector as it is surrounded by large fields filled with high quality olive trees. The people of Salem are also known for husbandry as parts of their lands (especially in the eastern region) are considered to be ideal grazing areas. Moreover, a portion of Salem's population work inside of Israel along with working their lands during the appropriate seasons.  

Israeli Violations in Salem:

1- The confiscation and appropriation of about 500 dunums used for the establishment of the settlement of Elon Moreh. The confiscated lands belonged to the villages of Salem, Azmout and Dier Al Hatab.

2- The establishment of an Israeli by-pass road in 1996 the width of which is 20 meters. It was designed to encircle the settlement of Elon Moreh and to surround the village of Salem from the southern, eastern and northern directions. Such a design led to the isolation of most of the villages' lands (about 6,000 dunums of the best lands) located east of the by-pass road. Furthermore, Israeli forces prevented shepherds from accessing their isolated lands for grazing or planting purposes. The settlers, also, carried out their part of the harassment as it has been reported on a number of occasions that settlers would beat and terrorize Palestinians while trying to collect their olive harvest. See photo 1


3- In response to Ariel Sharon's call to occupy the hills of the West Bank in 1997, a group of Elon Moreh settlers established an outpost on the lands of Salem east of the original settlement. The outpost consists of two caravans, two sheep pins, a water storage tank, an electrical generator in addition to a military tower. The area of the over-taken lands is about 100 dunums that belongs to the following families:

·     The family of Najeeb Salman and his brothers (about 40 dunums)

·    The family of Mohammad Nader and his brothers (about 20 dunums)

·      The family of Mohammad Mustafa and his brothers (about 30 dunums).

The establishment of this outpost has led o the isolation of about 2000 dunums of Salems' lands 70% of which are agricultural lands filled with barley and wheat. The remaining 30% is planted with olive trees. 

4- Settlers have confiscated and stolen a large number of sheep that belonged to Palestinians from Salem. They have placed them in pins and started grazing them on Palestinian lands without anybody daring to stop them because they would consider such an attempt as a threat to them. In that case, settlers give themselves the right to fire at the protesting Palestinians in accordance with the Israeli military rule that allows settlers to do whatever they want while considering Palestinians as terrorists.  

5- Settlers of the new outpost took control over 200 dunums and used it for their own planting purposes as if it was their own. Israeli forces did not intervene despite the large number of complaints filed by the Palestinians.

6- Israeli occupation forces dug in 2001 a 4-meter deep and 4-meeter wide ditch surrounding the village from the southern, western and northern directions. This 2-kilometer long ditch completed the total siege of the village. Israeli occupation forces installed one gate and manned it with soldiers who would not hesitate to close the gate down and leave tens of villagers stranded in either side of the gate.  The digging of this ditch led to the uprooting of about 200 olive trees. See photo 2

7-  On May 23rd, 2002 settlers burned the wheat and barley crops of an area of 50 dunums few days before it was supposed to be harvested. When Palestinians from Salem were alerted to the fire and tried to put it out, Israeli soldiers prevented them from accessing the site of the fire.

8-  On May 25th, 2002 (two days after field burning) settlers set the olive fields ablaze. About 300 olive trees were burned down under the protection of the Israeli Army. Despite the fact that a number of complaints were filed by the Palestinians and the fact that one of them indicated the presence of an Israeli settler in the region, Israeli authorities did nothing in its regard.

9- During the current Intifada Israeli settlers and soldiers shot and killed 8 Palestinians from the village of Salem on the by-pass road while trying to get to their fields on the other side of the by-pass. Tens were injured while tens were arrested.

10- On Sunday October 16th, 2005 at about 3:00 PM settlers tried again to set the fields ablaze. Yet, Salem residents were alerted on time to call the fire brigade and prevent a disaster. See photo3

The Last Attack:-

Location: Jourat Nasr / Al Jabal Al Kabeer – 3 kilometers east of Salem.

Date: November 26th, 2005.

Attack by: The settlers of Elon Moreh and the outpost associated with it.

Attack Tools: Electrical saws and bulldozers.

Details of the Attack: Tens of settlers attacked a number of 30-year-old olive trees owned by Salem villagers. They have damaged and uprooted about 300 trees under the protection of the Israeli Army and Border Police.

Tens of settlers attacked a number of 30-year-old olive trees owned by Salem villagers. They have damaged and uprooted about 300 trees under the protection of the Israeli Army and Border Police.

Table one; Affected Residents:



No. of Uprooted Trees


Adeeb Mustafa Husein



Rateeb Mustafa Husein



Rateb Mustafa Husein



Nuer Ahmad Salamah



Khdeir Ahmad Salamah



Salamah Ahmad Salamah



Hamed Ahmad Salamah



Saleem Ahmad Salamah



Mahmoud Ahmad Salamah



Qasem Adel Oudeh




It is estimated that the loss of the village due to the recent attack is about $90,000 added to the millions of dollars in losses faced by the village since the establishment of the settlement.


Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Reports