Yitzhar Settlers Attack Palestinians and their Lands in the Villages of Burin and Hiwwara

Yitzhar Settlers Attack Palestinians and their Lands in the Villages of Burin and Hiwwara

On June 19th, 2008 a group of settlers from the settlement of Yitzhar set fire to tens of dunums of Palestinian lands filled with olives and wheat located northwest of the villages of Burin and Huwwara in Nablus Governorate. The settlers have done so after shutting down a number of main and secondary roads on the Nablus-Huwwara Road and Nablus-Yitzhar Bypass Road.



Photo 1 & Photo 2: The fire set off by the Yizhar settlers in Huwwara and Burin.


Tens of Yitzhar settlers have attacked a number of Palestinian homes in the villages of Burin and Asira Al Qibliya’ as well thrown stones at the houses and passing Palestinian cars on the roads surrounding the villages. They have, also, set fire to a 100-dunums field of olive trees.


The Israeli occupation forces have joined with the settlers as they have prevented Palestinian ambulances and fire brigades from accessing the site of the fire in order to extinguish it. The occupation forces have refused the entry of the Palestinians under the pretext that there was no prior coordination to allow its passage to the location of the fire. Moreover, these forces have shut down the Nablus-Yitzhar Bypass Road in the face of Palestinian traffic for a number of hours while settlers carried out protests over a two-day period during which they have shut down the main road near Huwwara checkpoint for hours at a time.


Such attacks are not uncommon as Yitzhar settlers made it a habit to attack Palestinian shepherds, their sheep and their lands located in the immediate vicinity of the settlement. Mr. Mohammad Hamed (72 years old) from the village of Asira Al Shamaliya is considered to be a classical example of settlers’ attacks against Palestinians as he was beaten more than once by them in addition to stealing 15 of his sheep in April 2004. Even donkeys were not spared the attacks by the settlers as a number of donkey stealing cases have been reported especially in the cases of Mr. Ibrahim Mohammad Makhloof and Mr. Abdel Baset Mohammad Ahmad. Moreover, settlers’ attacks have been reported even when coordination with Israeli occupation forces has taken place via the Red Cross especially during the olive harvest season; in the last two years Yitzhar settlers have harassed Palestinian farmers through firing live bullets towards them while chasing them in the valleys and mountains in an attempt to instill fear and horror in their hearts. An example of such violent attacks is the case of the 35-year old Mr. Hani Abdel Ra’oof  Shihada who was shot with live bullets in the neck while he was fending off an attack by the settlers against Palestinian women collecting olives in the village of Asira Al Qibliya’ in the autumn of 2005. He was transported to the hospital in a critical condition.


The Settlement of Yitzhar:

The settlement of Yitzhar was established in the year 1983 on Palestinians lands belonging to the villages of Burin and Asira Al Qibilya’ west of the city of Nablus. The settlement continued to expand atop tens of dunums owned by Palestinians from the villages of Burin, Asira Al Qibliya’, Urif, Ma’adama and Huwwara. As of 2005, the built-up area of the settlement was about 158 dunums while the municipal area of the settlement have reached about 1800 dunums from the following locations; Salman Al Farisi, Al Marj, Jabal Al Nada as well as Khalil Salama Al Mouhr. It is worth pointing out that confiscated lands include a place where a monument for the Muslim leader Salaman Al Farisi has been established in the yester years.


Photo 3: The road leading to the settlement of Yitzhar. The aftermath of t
he fires is shown in the picture.

The population of the settlement in 2004, according to the Palestinian Information Center, was about 534 settlers 90% of which belong to the extreme Jewish Right and especially to the movement of Temple Mount Faithful.  




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks