Israeli Settlers set fire into 200 dunums of Qaffin Village Lands

Israeli Settlers set fire into 200 dunums of Qaffin Village Lands

General Glance

Qaffin villages cluster, include two major Palestinian communities, Qaffin and Akkaba villages, located at the far north end of Tulkarem Governorate in the northwest of the West Bank. The cluster area’s is 10,119 Dunums were most of the residents are agricultural engaged.


Qaffin is an agricultural based community located north of in close proximity to the 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line). Its population exceeds 8750 Palestinians (PCBS 2006). The village built-up area exceeds 1000 Dunums, which is 10% of the total cluster’s area.


'Akkaba is a small, agricultural based Palestinian village. It has a population of 261 residents (PCBS 2006). The village set in closer range to the Green Line even more than Qaffin. 'Akkaba village lies 16.5 km away from the city of Tulkarem (the main urban community and center of services) and about 1.5 km from the Green Line (Armistice Line).


The Qaffin cluster was one of the first locations in the West Bank to suffer the consequences of the Israeli Apartheid Segregation Wall. It pierce across 5.5 Km in length and isolates nearly 25% of the cluster’s lands. An Illegal Israeli settlement, Hermesh was established in 1982 on a confiscated area of 463 dunums, where 234 Israeli settlers lives their today.) See Map 1: Map of Tulkarem Governorate & ‘Akkaba Village


'Systematic' Israeli Settlers' Attacks

On June 10, 2007, the Illegal Israeli settlers of the Illegal Israeli settlement Hermesh along with the Illegal Israeli Kibbutz of Messer attacked the Palestinian agriculture lands isolated behind the Israeli Apartheid Segregation Wall, which stretches through ‘Akkaba village lands. The Israeli settlers attack did not only ruined the cultivated lands with hundreds of citrus trees but went even further than that to set fire in trees and crops of more than 200 dunums.


The targeted lands, which are owned by local residents of ‘Akkaba village and segregated by the Israeli Segregation Wall. The owners of these lands are facing incapacitating conditions in order to reach to their lands since the access to the lands is very limited through the only Wall gate (Gate number 12) put by the Israeli army following the construction of the Apartheid Segregation Wall. The gate is subjected to complicated Israeli security measures and procedures, where the farmers may access the gate to their lands in certain hours of the day. However, even the hours set by the Israeli Army.


On May 8, 2007, a group of Illegal Israeli settlers from Illegal 'Hermesh' settlement and 'Messer' kibbutz set fire in the Palestinian agricultural lands isolated by the Segregation Wall in ‘Akkaba village. At least 170 dunums of agricultural land planted with olives and citrus trees burnt completely.


On February 17, 2005, the Israeli Army handed over several civilians in 'Akkaba Village,  military orders to confiscate 25 dunums of the village lands under the pretext of 'military purposes.


To Conclude

Qaffin villages cluster used to enjoy prosperous economic and trading ties with Arab communities living in Israel due to their close proximity to the Green Line, all of which ended when the Israeli Army put up the Segregation Wall.


Before the Segregation Wall, the Israel Army restricted Palestinians’ lives in general, especially in areas of villages located near the Segregation Wall. Israeli settlements were established on confiscated private Palestinian lands, and bypass roads were constructed to facilitate the movement of the Israeli settlers. The Israeli settlers on their part were given free hand by the Israeli Army, that allowed them to wreck, burn and abuse the Palestinians, something that have not change even after the Segregation Wall.  


Under the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel is prohibited to demolish the Palestinian houses according to Article 53 of the Convention which states that: 'Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.




Prepared by
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Settlers Attacks