Hagai settlers cut olive trees in Ar Rihiya village

Hagai settlers cut olive trees in Ar Rihiya village

Photo 1: Ar Rihiya-Hebron:  a woman laments for her destroyed olive trees. Al Ayyam newspaper


Photo 2: Ar Rihiya- Hebron: Settlers' grudge against Palestinian olive trees is reflected in this picture


On December 4th, 2006,  Israeli settlers from Hagai colony which is located at the southern edge of Hebron city cut down and destroyed 60  young olive trees belonging to citizens from ar Rihiya village, Hebron governorate. The trees are at the age of 8 years and they just began giving yields. They were planted at the distance of 300 meters from the borders of the colony in a three dunum land area divided and owned by:


1.     Mr. Fawzi Ratib At Tubasi, 57 years old, laborer and father of 10, who owns two dunums in which 40 trees were cut down;

2.     Mr. Mohammed Abdul Hamid At Tubasi, 56 years old, laborer and a father of 6, who owns one dunum in which 20 trees were cut down.



Photos 3 & 4: Ar Rihiya- Hebron: Owner Fawzi At Tubasi inspecting his destroyed olive trees)


Location, population and area

The village of Ar Rihiya is located about 18 km to the south east of Hebron city adjacent to Al Fawar refugee camp. Its population toll reaches 3000, according to the latest figures of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The total land area of Ar Rihiya is 3882 sunums of which 770 dunums are built up area.




Map 1: Location of ar Rihiyia village, Hebron governorate


Continuous settler  threats

In an interview with LRC field worker, Mr. Fawzi At Tubasi said that the aggression was carried out only one day after a group of settlers had attended to the scene and threatened farmers whilst tending their fields. ' They ordered  us to leave the area under gun point and not to come again', Mr. Fawzi went on to say.  ' Israeli soldiers stationed in the settlement's watch tower overlooking the scene made no interference', Mr. Fawzi added.


 Photo 5&6: Ar Rihiya- Hebron: In front is the destroyed olive field, in the
back is the Israeli watch tower of Hagai colony

The above attack is the third of its type against Palestinian farmers and agricultural land in that particular area where the Hagai settlers continue to prevent Palestinian access to about 600 dunums of agricultural land because they have ambitions to annex them into the colony.


The recent attack came as part of the ongoing series of aggressions against this land where dozens of dunums have already been bulldozed and fenced during the past three months as a preparation for total annexation to the colony. Again, these acts of aggression are being carried out under the protection of the Israeli army. 


Haqai colony

The Hagai colony was established in 1984 on Palestinian land confiscated from the villages of Ar Rihiya and Khirbet Qalqis and from the city of Hebron. In 2004, it had the total population of 429 settlers mostly from the Jewish extremist and right wing groups ( source- Foundation for Middle East Peace- Washington -DC ). Its municipal land area is 872 dunum, including a 233 dunums built up area ( Source-Ibid).


Complaint met with arrest

In the aftermath of the attack farmer Fawzi At Tubasi headed to the Israeli police station near Kiriyat Arba'a colony and levied a complaint against the aggressors (see attached copy). However, on the same day and after midnight  a big Israeli army force besieged his family house in ar Rihiya village, stormed and searched the house before arresting his two eldest sons, Faris, 24 years old and fourth year biology student at Hebron University and, Isma'il, 23 years old and fourth year science student at Al Quds Open University. Strangely enough, the army claimed that the two sons were arrested for security charges brought against them by the Israeli settlers of Hagai!?


 Photo 7: Ar Rihiya- Hebron: No mercy for Palestinian olive trees in Israeli settlers' doctrine 


The second day, the father went back to the Israeli police, stressing that his sons never committed any security ' offences' and, accordingly, there is no reason  to keep them in prison, except to use them as a tool of pressure against him to force him withdraw his complaint against the aggressors from Hagai colony.


At the end of the day, the victimized father  was given a summons to come to the offices of the Israeli intelligence in Hebron. He believes that instead of interrogating the aggressors and bringing them to 'justice' he will be subjugated to  further blackmailing and bargaining by the Israeli intelligence personnel.




 Prepared by
The Land Research Center




Categories: Settlers Attacks