Colonial Outposts East of Qalqilia City

Colonial Outposts East of Qalqilia City

The daily agony of the Palestinian residents of the village of Amateen and the other villages located in its vicinity have started ever since colonists started overtaken their lands. The village of Amateen is the village that is suffering the most of colonists harassment due to the close proximity of its agricultural lands to the illegal outposts of Gilad Zoher and Givat A’ami. Israeli sources have declared earlier that the colonists residing in Gilad Zoher are extremists who are devout followers of the late Rabbi Me’ir Kahane. The fury and deep vengeance of the colonists have been felt by the residents of Amateen and nearby Palestinian villages through a series of attacks carried out by the colonists. Most of the attacks take place on Saturdays by colonists wearing the traditional religious outfits and wearing black kappas. They would usually attack farmers working on their lands and destroy their crops especially during the harvest season. To follow is a list of some of the attacks that took place during the first half of 2008:  

  • On May 31, 2008 a large number of colonists attacked a number of Amateen villagers while they were harvesting their lands. The colonists carried out the attack under the protection of Israeli occupation soldiers who were present to provide protection for the colonists. The attack resulted in the injury of a number of Amateen villagers including Mr. Rizq Abdel Fattah Ghanim (age = 32) who was shot in his right hand by one of the colonists. It is worth noting that Mr. Ghanim is the sole breadwinner for his 7-member family.  

  • On May 22nd, 2008 Mr. Saddiq Mohammad Berri (age=60 years) from Amateen was shocked when we he saw a large number of colonists harvesting the wheat from his land that is located in the vicinity of the Gilad Zoher outpost. After the harvest, the colonists placed the collected wheat in 6 rows beneath the olive trees in the field and then set it ablaze. The fire came on the wheat as well as on the olive trees which led to massive losses for Mr. Berri.


Photo 1: Mr. Saddiq Berri near the site of the fire


Mr. Berri provided the following details about the attack of the colonists: ' That was not the first time that these colonists attacked us. In April 2008 my wife and I were attacked while working in our field by more than 20 colonists. They were wearing the outfit of the religious Jews. They violently beat up my wife and caused great damage to my tractor. We were in our land only to plow it. Nothing more and nothing less. The colonists told us to 'go to Iran' and that we 'don't belong here.' These attacks are becoming a constant menace for us and for the Palestinians of the region in general. Today, they have done it again. They have burnt all of our harvest that we spent all last week collecting. This is our only source of income. We will be negatively affected because of these colonists and their aggressive acts.  

  • On May 18th, 2008 a number of colonists from the Gilad Zoher outpost attacked an agricultural field owned by Mr. Shaher Ahmad Al Taweel (age=36 years) from the village of Far’ata. The field is located 2 kilometers away from the outpost. The colonists took advantage of the non-presence of the owner of the land a set fire to the collected harvest and burnt it completely leading to a financial disaster to Mr. Al Taweel.


Photo 2: The burning of vast areas of Palestinian land by Israeli colonists.

  • On May 3rd, 2008 the same group of colonists attacked a number of Palestinian farmers from the village of Kufr Qadoom while trying to plow their lands and taking care of their 1200 trees. The colonists sabotaged a tractor owned by Mr. Amjad Hasan Ishtiwi through placing a large quantity of sand into its smoke emitter. They have, also, physically attacked the 67-year old Mr. Abdel Razzaq Mahmoud Abdel Kareem A’amer causing him multiple injuries while damaging a large number of trees using sharp objects.  


Photo 3: The trees that have been broken by the colonists

  • In mid April, 2008 colonists attacked Mr. Hani Sadeq Al Taweel while he was shepherding his sheep in the vicinity of the village of Far’ata. The colonists have also killed a number of his sheep which are considered his only source of income. Mr. Al Taweel was also attacked a few years back and ended up being hospitalized for three days.


It is worth noting here the number of attacks by the colonists from the outposts of Gilad Zoher and Givat A’ami have exceeded 30, according to the Palestinians living in the nearby villages, especially during harvest and olive picking seasons. During these attacks, the villagers would usually jump for the assistance of their fellow Palestinians which what happened with Mr. Al Taweel. In the aftermath of each attack, Palestinians would usually file a complaint with the Israeli DCL against the so-called “Zoher Children,” yet to avail. Even the children running along with their sheep in the hills surrounding the villages of Amateen, Far’ata and Jiet were not spared that wrath of the colonists; the latest such attack took place four months ago when colonists from the outpost of Gilad Zoher beat a child walking with his flock, took his sheep and held them in the outpost. If it wasn’t for the efforts exerted by the Palestinian villagers, the herd would not have returned to the scared boy.


The Palestinian villagers have also indicated that the vindictive and malicious behavior of the Zoher Children stems from their intrinsic need to avenge the 2002 killing of their brother Gilad who used to be the head of security for the colonies in the West Bank. The attacks of these colonists have reached the villages of Jiet, Far’ata, Amateen, Kufr Qadoom in addition to the village of Til.


The Outpost of Gilad Zoher:

The colonist Gilad Ibn Zoher was the main pillar of colonial activity in the Governorate of Qalqilia. He was the main force behind the establishment of a the colonial nuclei that became in time the Ma’ale Shomron colonial block located 14 kilometers east of the city of Qalqilia. He was killed in mid 2002. As a result of his killing, colonists, aided by Israeli occupation forces and authorities, confiscated huge areas from the villages of Far’ata, Amateen, Sirra, Til and Jiet upon which the outpost of Gilad Zoher Farm was established. The house of Mrs. Badriya A’amer, from the village of Kufr Qadoom, is located 2 kilometers away from the outpost. In 1996 a group of colonists took over the house and transferred it to an outpost called Givat A’ami. Despite the fact that the Israeli High Court has ordered the eviction of the colonists, they are still there. The outpost was evacuated a number of times, only to be re-occupied sometimes within hours of the evacuation.     

Photo 4: An overview of Gilad Zoher outpost.




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center







Categories: Settlers Attacks