Separated Palestinain lands set into fire at the hands of Israeli settlers from Sha’are Tikva and Elkana settlements

Separated Palestinain lands set into fire at the hands of Israeli settlers from Sha’are Tikva and Elkana settlements

Photo 1: olive fields burnt by settlers in Az Zawiya


Dozens of settlers from the settlements of Sha'are Tikva and Elkana set fire to about 1000 dunum of olive groves belonging to citizens form the village of Az Zawiya, Salfit governorate. The target land which was separated behind the Annexation and expansion Wall whence completed in the year 2004 is owned by a number of farmers, including Mohammed Yusif Saleh, Ali Hamdan, sons of Haj Saleh Yusif and Sharif Abdul Khaliq. The burned fields are located in the areas of Khirbet Sirisiya, Ad Duwaier and Khaniq Al Haj Ali. Israeli fire brigades who arrived late at the scene were only responsible for fighting fires in the vicinity of Sha'are Tikva settlement without intervening in other remote areas.



Photos 2,3 & 4: more fields of olive groves set to fire by Israeli settlers
from Sha'are Tikva and Elkana settlements)



Location, population and area:

The village of Az Zawiya is located 15 km to the west of Salfit city in Salfit governorate.  It has a population of about 4000 people, mostly dependent on agriculture and animal breeding as main income.  The village's remaining area is 12669.5 dunum as it lost thousands of dunums to Israel during the 1948 war. Of the afore-mentioned area, there is 906.6 dunums built up area, in addition to other hundreds of dunums that have been separated behind the Wall.



(Map 1: location of Az Zawiya)



Non – stop land grabbing

Apart from the above, the following is a list of violations and land grabbing measures that have taken place against the lands of Az Zawiya:

1- On March 4th, 2005 and after 7 month stop Israeli bulldozers resumed work in the construction of the Annexation and Expansion Wall to the north, west and south west of the village after introducing minor modifications on the path of the Wall according to which it was pushed a little further towards the green line. These modifications were announced in the Israeli army's Wall plan of February 20th, 2006.

The previous Wall plan of October, 2003 intended to expropriate larger areas of the village lands, in addition to the devastation of 400 dunums located under the path of the Wall. Although it was pushed westward towards the green line the Wall traveled at the length of 6 km and maximum width of 100 meter over the lands of Az Zawiya. The last Wall modification has led to the total destruction of an extra 600 dunums under the path of the Wall and the separation of hundreds of dunums behind it


2- The gradual confiscation of hundreds of dunums for the establishment and expansion of many settlements in Salfit governorate, including Elkana (established in 1977; pop. in 2004 was 2983; built up are is 758 dunums; municipal area is 1198 dunums) and Sha'are Tikva (established in 1982: pop. in 2004 was 3685; built up area is 915 dunums; municipal area is 1045 dunums). The two settlements have become part of Israel after the construction of the Wall. Settlers in these two settlements have taken benefit of the status qua which obstructs the Palestinian efforts to tend agricultural lands on the other side of the Wall and started to confiscate palestinian lands and annex them into their settlements.   

3- The construction of stone quarries to the west of the village expropriating more than 500 dunums of agricultural lands.

4- The erection of an army training camp over 300 dunums of the Az Zawiya separated village lands.

5- The continuous prevention of farmers and land owners from tending their lands and picking olives, especially in the areas of Khallet Rumaila and Khirbet Sirisiya under the pretext of proximity to Israeli settlment. Such a measure, which was put in force for the fourth running year has inflicted heavy losses on many families whose main income comes only from olives and olive oil after loosing jobs in Israel. 




Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks