Asfer (Metzad) settlers seize Palestinian lands under Israeli army protection

Asfer (Metzad) settlers seize Palestinian lands under Israeli army protection


The settlers of Asfer ( Metzad ) settlement- Hebron governorate, have seized hundreds of dunums of Palestinian owned land for two purposes: the first, to expand  the existing settlement of Asfer; the second, to connect Asfer with the settlements of Ma'aleh Amos and Metzad Shim'on which are located in Bethlehem governorate at the distance of about 2 and 1.5 km to the east of Asfer respectively. The main goal behind this action is to create one entity out of the three existing settlements ( See attached map). The land seizure is being carried out under full protection by the Israeli army and by the settlement guard units. The total land area expected to be eventually seized in this area is about 1500 dunums, some of which is planted with fruitful olive trees, while others are used as grazing zones.  The whole land area is owned by families from the village of Sa'ir, 4 km to north east of Hebron city with a population of 12000.  Most of Sa'ir citizens work in agriculture and animal breeding. Therefore, closing vast areas of pastures at the hands of Israeli settlers will have detrimental effects on the very wellbeing of the Sa'ir people.

 map 1: Location of the village of Sa'ir and the settlements of Asfer,
 Metzad Shim'on and Ma'aleh Amos),
Map prepared by LRC

No land confiscation orders have been yet given to land owners by the Israeli occupation authorities.

Asfer and Ma'aleh Amos settlements

The settlement of Asfer is one of 25 ' official ' settlements in Hebron district. It was built over parts of the eastern slopes of Hebron district in the year 1984. At the end of 2004, it had the population of 275 settlers, according to the statistics of the Washington based 'Foundation for Middle East Peace'.

Ma'aleh Amos settlement was established in 1981 in the south eastern slopes of Bethlehem district. At the end of 2004, it had the population of 319 settlers, according to the statistics of the Washington based 'Foundation for Middle East Peace'.

Chronology of aggression

The settlers' aggression against the Palestinian lands dates back to January, 2005 and is still going on. In January, 2005, they started to plant forest trees in dozens of dunums and block the access of Palestinian shepherds into the target lands which are located to the north east of Asfer settlement.

In November, 2005, Israeli colonists forcibly put their hands over 200 dunums of lands under Israeli army protection. The land were excavated and surrounded with a barbed wire fence.

photo 1: new expansion to Asfer settlement)

Photo courtesy of LRC


In January, 2006, The Israeli colonists started to plant the 200 dunums with forest trees. The plantation process lasted for two day.

In an interview with LRC field worker, Mr. Jamil Mohammed Shalaldeh who resides near Asfer settlement said the Israeli continuous land confiscation is one tool to dismiss Palestinian families out of the area. Another tool, he said, is throwing toxics and poisonous material in the grazing zones which caused the death of at least 42 heads of sheep during the course of the last year. 

Road building and expansion

Another tool for land confiscation in the area is the on going land building and expansion. The tree plantation coincided with the expansion of the two km long road that was opened two years ago between the settlement of Asfer and Wadi Sa'ir road that connects the Asfer settlement with the settlements of Metzad Shim'on, Ma'aleh Amos, Taqu' and Efrata. The new road is shorter than the current road.

photo 2: newly opened road connecting between Asfer
settlement and Wadi Sa'ir road
Photo courtesy of LRC


Land downers:

The following is a list of land owners whose lands have been seized by Asfer colonists:


Owner name

Area in dunum

Location name




Al Qanub, Khallet Anasrani, Harayeq Salman, Tur Al- Butum and Shi'ib Al Hamam


Mohammed Hammad Rabah Shalaldeh




Mohammed Salim Ali Shalaldeh




Heirs of Sabri Ali Shalaldeh




The family of Harb Shalaldeh




The family of Mustafa Shalaldeh




Heirs of Yahiya Khashan Shalaldeh






Qanan Al �'Araj ( about 600 meters to the north of Asfer settlement)


Na'im Abdul Rahman Shalaldeh




Samieh Al-'Araj Shalaldeh




Faruq Shalaldeh




Ahamd Abdul Fattah Shalaldeh




Mohammed Hussein Al-'Araj




Ahamd Abdul Qader Shalaldeh








Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks