The Israeli colony of Asfar, attacks on Palestinian citizens and their agricultural land

The Israeli colony of Asfar, attacks on Palestinian citizens and their  agricultural land


The trip of agony and suffering by the resident of the towns of Sa’ir and Al Shyoukh stared on the very same day that the colony of Asfer was created in 1984.


More recently, a Jewish investor from Canada has financed the rehabilitation of large areas located near the colony and belonging to the Palestinian clan of Al Shalaldeh from the town of Sa’ir. Around 150 dunums were leveled in the first week of June 2008 for the purpose of annexing it to the colony and to be used for growing apples. The targeted lands were planted with olive and almond trees from which tens of Palestinian families were benefiting.



Photo 1 & Photo 2: Part of the confiscated lands for the benefit of the colony


An earthmound prevents Palestinian access to 150 dunums:

Israeli occupation forces have placed an earthmound on a road used by Palestinians to reach about 150 of their lands located in the vicinity of the colony. As such, Palestinians were forced to use alternative roads to reach their isolated lands. However, these roads have been used by both the colonists and the Israeli occupation forces to trap and humiliate Palestinian farmers en route to their lands. So far, Israeli occupation forces, as well as Asfar colonists, have confiscated more than 7 donkeys from Palestinian farmers while using them to plow and graze in their lands.


Israeli soldiers stationed at the earthmound purposefully humiliate Palestinians via preventing access altogether or by subjugating the Palestinian farmers to a very slow process of ID and body searches while keeping them waiting under the heat of the sun. Access, or lack thereof, depends largely on the mood of the soldiers. It’s been reported on a number of occasions that soldiers manning the closure have demanded farmers to give out their masbaha (A collection of a certain number of beads with separators combined together in a chain and connected through a thread or a wire) as a pre-condition for their passage through the earthmound. An ex-Israeli soldier called Ron Forir has written a book titled “The Checkpoint Syndrome” in which he spoke about the theft of Palestinian masbaha at checkpoints. He talked about the fascination of Israeli soldiers of the masbaha and collecting them to the degree that he and his “colleagues” collected more than one hundred masbaha in one day while stationed at one of the checkpoints in the West Bank.


A member of Al Shalaldah clan told the Land Research Center’s field researcher the following: ' I was attending to my land (located only 6 meters away from the fence of the colony) to prepare it for the next planting season. About 8 colonists attacked me while the mayor of the colony (called Ezra) was present. They beat me up severely before throwing me out of my land. '


Asfar Colony:

The colony of Asfar (a.k.a. Metzad) was established atop Palestinian lands belonging to Arab Al Rashayada in the Governorate Bethlehem and on lands belonging to the towns of Sa’ir and Al Shyoukh in the Governorate of Hebron. It was built in 1984 and has a current area of 184.11 dunums with a current population of 232 colonists. A sister colony, called Metzad Shimon, was created close to Asfar in 1991 with a current area of 233.5 dunums.   


Photo 3: Asafar colony and its close proximity to the town of Sa’ir



What's Next?

The Palestinian suffering near the colony of Asafr is only one example of a trend that has been duplicated throughout the West Bank in Palestinian villages and towns located in the vicinity of Israeli colonies. It is an indication of the odd condition in the West Bank in which the Palestinians, the real land owners, have become strangers in their lands while the illegal Israeli colonists have become the owners of the country and its resources.


The Land Research Center sees the confiscation of Palestinian lands and annexing it to Israeli colonies as a grave violation of international laws and charters and, as such, demands that Israeli authorities return the confiscated lands to its rightful owners. It, also, appeals to all officials in the world, especially to the European Union, to move quickly and to immediately put pressure on the occupation government to prevent the confiscation of Palestinian lands for the benefit of Jewish colonists.





 Prepared by:
The Land Research Center



Categories: Settlers Attacks