The Settlement of Shima is Expanding at the Expense of the Village of Shwieka

The Settlement of Shima is Expanding at the Expense of the Village of Shwieka

On May 22nd, 2008 Mr. Salamah Ali Al Samamreh and his sons were herding their flocks on their lands in the village of Shweika in Hebron Governorate. Suddenly, eight armed settlers guarded by two Israeli occupation soldiers came up to Mr. Al Samamreh, threatened him, stole sixty of his sheep and took them to the nearby settlement of Shima.

Photo 1: The sheep of Mr. Al Samamreh in its pens after it was denied grazing


Mr. Al Samamreh said that after the confiscation of the sheep he called the Palestinian Liaison Office and informed them of what took place. After two hours an Israeli military jeep showed up at the scene and informed Mr. Al Samamreh that he cannot graze in the lands located between the settlement of Shima and the opposite hill overlooking it. The soldier also declared that the targeted lands (area = 150 dunums) are confiscated for the benefit of the settlement.


Photo 2: The limit of the confiscated lands set by the settlers to prevent
the Palestinian land owners from reaching it


Mr. Al Samamreh added that the Israeli officer told him that he would work on restoring the stolen sheep on the condition that Mr. Al Samamreh won’t access his land anymore. Mr. Al Samamreh flatly refused the offer. As such, the soldiers released his sheep about 4 kilometers away from his land. Mr. Al Samamreh collected his sheep and locked them in animal pens. The question still rings in his mind, though; what to do next and how to confront this aggression?



Photo 3: Mr. Salamah Ali Al Samamreh in his threatened lands.


Previous Violations:

The suffering and agony of the Palestinians of the village of Shweika, located east of the town of Ad Dhahiriya, started with the establishment of the settlement of Shima in 1984. The settlement was created atop lands owned by Mr. Hasan Faris Al Samamreh, Mr. Abdel Kareem Al Shamli and Mr. Mohammad Ali Saleem Al Samamreh. About 150 dunums were confiscated to establish the settlement in which 100 colonial units are currently present.



Photo 4: An overall view of the settlement ofShima with Road 60 present in the background

The Addition of New Colonial Caravans:

In the year 2000 the settlement of Shima was expanded, again, on the expense of Al Samamreh lands. About 10 additional dunums were confiscated atop which 15 caravans were placed in an effort to expand the settlement. The confiscated lands belonged to Mr. Kamel Hasan Abdel Qader Al Samamreh, Mr. Abdel Qader Ali Al Samamreh, Mr. Mohammad Oweid Al Samamreh and Mr. Mohammad Shihada Al Samamreh.


Photo 5: Additional colonial caravans added to the settlement of Shima in 2000.


Road 60 devoured 10 dunums of the lands of the village:

It is worth noting that in order to establish Road 60 (which passes near the settlement of Shima and connects it and other nearby settlements with Beer Sheva) an additional 10 dunums of Palestinian lands were confiscated. The lands belonged to Mr. Salameh Ali Al Samamreh, Mr. Kamel Hasan Al Samamreh, Mr. Abdel Qader Al Samamreh, Mr. Mohammad Shihda Al Samamreh, Mr. Musa Al Samamreh, Mr. Abdel Kareem Al Shalami, Mr. Mohammad Suleiman Mansour in addition to Mr. Mohammad Mahmoud Salman Al Jabareen.


Photo 6: The By-Pass Road 60 which passes near the settlement of Shima.


After the establishment of the settlement of Shima, the settlers have become a menace and a source of constant harassment to the Palestinians living nearby in an effort to force them out of their lands. A number of tactics have been employed by the settlers in order to achieve their goals. Such tactics included preventing land owners from plowing, rehabilitating, grazing and planting their lands through the use of arms. The settlers claim that the targeted lands are owned by the settlement and, as such, Palestinians are not allowed to be present in it. The threatened lands belong to the following:



Area in dunums

Nature of the land

Kamel Hasan Abdel Qader Al Samamreh


Grazing fields, mountainous area and wheat fields.

Abel Qader Ali Al  Samamreh


Mountainous area, grazing fields and valleys

Salama Ali Al Samamreh


Agricultural lands

Mohammad Shihada Al Samamreh


Grazing and agricultural lands.

Abdel Hamid Abdullah Al Samamreh


Agricultural and mountainous lands.


Photo 7: Mr. Kamel Hasan Al Samamreh in his threatened lands.


On-Going Violations: 

The anguish of the Palestinians of Shweika started as early as 1984 and continued up to the present time. A list of some of the violations is listed below:

  • Since 1984 the settlers of Shima have been preventing Palestinian land owners from grazing or planting their lands located in the vicinity of the settlement. Mr. Salama Ali Al Samamreh has indicated that groups of armed settlers usually chase the owners off of their lands and force them out of it.

  • An increase in the frequency of the settlers’ attacks has been recorded since the year 2000 especially after the establishment of Road 60 on the lands of Shweika.

  • Mr. Salama Ali Al Samamreh stated that settlers would usually release their dogs to attack him and his children while grazing in their lands. An example of such an attack took place on November 27th, 2006 when 7 settlers came along with their dogs and attacked Palestinian shepherds which led to the killing of two sheep as well as instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the children present at the scene.

  • In 2007 Mr. Salama was planting seed in his land when settlers approached him and threatened to kill him in case he finished plowing his land. As such, Mr. Salama filed a complaint against the attackers, yet to no avail. A pro-peace Israeli group helped Mr. Samamreh to continue plowing his land after 12 days of the incident.

  • On March 30th, 2008 four settlers ran after Mr. Al Samamreh, surrounded him and released their dog at him while shouting: “you are not allowed to enter this land.”

An Appeal:

Both Mr. Salama Al Samamreh and Mr. Kamle Hasan Al Samamreh appealed to human rights organizations to provide protection for them while in their lands and to provide volunteers to help them plow it. They, also, urged the organization to try and put a stop to the settlers’ aggression against them and their children. In addition, they have asked to put a halt to the series of land confiscations as their lands were confiscated three times; for the establishment of the settlement; for its enlargement and for the establishment of the by-pass road.


The Village of Shweika:

The village is located 6 kilometers east of the town of Ad Dhahiriya south of the Governorate of Hebron. The village is serviced and administered by the town of Ad Dhahiriya. The area of the village is approximately 2000 dunums. Its population is about 150 people most of which are from Al Samamreh, Al Til and Al Battat clans. The main sources of income are agriculture and herding. The village is connected to Ad Dhahiriya by an unpaved agricultural road. The village is surrounded from the east by Road 60, from the west and the north by the town of Ad Dhahiriya and from the south by the settlement of Shima and the adjacent Road 60.  


Photo 8: An overall view of the Village of  Shwieka


Map 1: Location map of Al Shuweika village


Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlement Expansion