Burning Agricultural Lands in the Village of Farata

Burning Agricultural Lands in the Village of Farata

On September 19th, 2008a group of colonists set ablaze to 45 dunums of Palestinian lands in the village of Farata, located east of the city of Qalqilia. The arson took place specifically in Parcel 16 Piece number 10 in an area known as Wadi Al Shami. The damaged lands are owned by a number of Palestinian farmers and it is considered to be their main source of income. The owners include Mr. Ibraheem Salman, Mr. Nayef Ibrahim Shana'a, Mr. Ibraheem Mahmoud Salman as well as Mr. Shafeeq Saleem Shana'a.  The area of Wadi Al Shami has been a frequent target of attacks and arsons caused by colonists from the outpost of Gilad Zoher.



The attacks continued on September 20th when colonists from the outpost attacked the 19-year old mentally-challenged Mr. Mohammad Oudeh Abdel Khaliq Taweel from Farata while he was present in his father's land. The land is located about 1 kilometer away from the outpost. The colonists sprayed Mr. Al Taweel with an unidentified chemical which caused burns to his face. The colonists, then, continued their attack as physically beat Al Taweel and left him with multiple bruises in different parts of his body.


Pic. 1:The charred agricultural lands set ablaze by Gilad Zoher colonists


The colonists took advantage of the Palestinian adherence to the month Ramadan and the upcoming olive harvest season and set fire to the said lands which are located northeast of the village. This was not, however, the first time that colonist set fire to Palestinian lands in the vicinity of the outpost; on the 22nd of July, 2008 a group of Gilad Zoher colonists burnt 26 dunums in Wadi Abu Al Jud east of the village of Farata. Also, several attacks have been carried out by these colonists against Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the vicinity of the outpost under the protection of Israeli occupation forces. 


Palestinian villagers used to plant the burnt lands with wheat each year. However, since the establishment of the outpost of Gilad Zoher atop lands from the villages of Til, Jit and Farata, Palestinian farmers have become reluctant to reach these lands due to the semi-daily attacks by the colonists. For the past years reports of physical beatings, agricultural tools stealing and setting fire to agricultural lands especially before the harvest season have been documented. These planned attacks have led to massive economical losses for the Palestinian farmers who depend largely on the produce of the land as a source of income. Let alone the psychological trauma caused by the sustained series of attacks on the framers, shepherds and the landowners. 


Overall, land burning by the colonists has become a trend in the northern parts of the West Bank in the past three months. The burning was centered in the villages of Burin and Assira Al Qiblia where more than 100 dunums were set ablaze by Yetzhar colonist gangs. Moreover, an additional 12 dunums were burnt in the village of Dier Istiya by gangs from the colony of Yakeir.   



Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks