The Continuation of Attacks by Yetzhar Colonists against Palestinians in Nablus Governorate.

The Continuation of Attacks by Yetzhar Colonists against Palestinians in Nablus Governorate.



Israeli colonists from the colony of Yetzhar have carried out, for a second time in September 2008, their attacks against Palestinian farmers from the villages of Burin and Assira Al Qiblia. The attacks were centered in the western and southern areas of the villages. In total, the colonists have burnt 64 dunums of agricultural lands in the region of Al Wajh Al Shami of Burin village. The lands are owned by 8 Palestinian families who were not able to access the land for the past years due to its close proximity to the colony of Yetzhar.


The rampage of the colonists also reached 13 houses from the village of Assira Al Qiblia. The houses belong to the clan of Makhloof in which 65 Palestinians live. The colonists broke the windows of the houses and physically attacked its residents.


Yetzhar colonists have become accustomed to attacking Palestinian farmers and shepherds in lands surrounding the colony. The attacks take the form of physical beatings as well as sheep stealing. The 72-year old Mr. Mohammad Hamed from the village of Assira Al Qiblia is a prime example of such attacks as he was physically beaten by Yezhar colonist in April 2004 who also stole 15 of his sheep. Even donkeys were not spared as donkeys were stolen on more than 10 occasions. Such donkey theft took place to the donkeys of both Mr. Ibrahim Mohammad Makhloof and Mr. Abdel Baset Mohammad Ahmad.


Photo 1: The fire set off by the Yizhar colonists in Burin


Attacks perpetrated by colonists also take place despite prior coordination between Palestinian and Israeli relevant official authorities. Such attacks take place in the olive harvest season during which Palestinians try to collect their olives from lands situated in the vicinity of Yetzhar. However, Yetzhar colonists do their best to disrupt the collection process via shooting live bullets in the air or towards Palestinian farmers as well as chasing them in the mountains and hills of the region. Such behavior has led in the past to serious injuries amongst Palestinian farmers as well as to instilling fear in their hearts. The case of the 35-year old Mr. Hani Abdel Ra’oof Shihada is a prime example of such practices; during the olive picking season of 2005 in Assira Al Qiblia Mr. Shihada was injured with a live bullet in the neck while he was fending off colonists’ attacks against women in the village.


General Information about the Colony of Yetzhar:

The colony was established in 1983 atop Palestinian lands from the villages of Burin and Assira Al Qiblia southwest of the city of Nablus. The colony started to expand on the expense of lands from the nearby villages of Burin, Assira Al Qiblia, Oreif, Madama and Huwwara. Currently, the built-up area of the colony is about 158 dunums while 1800 dunums were confiscated for future expansion. Most of the confiscated lands are located in Parcel 8 in the locations of Salman Al Farisi, Al Marj, Jabal Al Nada and Khalil Al Muhr. A monument for the Muslim leader Salman Al Farisi is located in the confiscated lands.  


The colonists of Yetzhar took a series of steps in 2007 to bring forth additional colonists to reside in the colony; a number of mobile caravans were placed on confiscated lands at a distance of about 1 kilometer away from the original colony in an attempt to expand it. That was in addition to a massive road and basic infrastructure construction inside the colony. Some of the newly-constructed roads lay at a distance of only 1 kilometer away from Palestinian homes in Assira Al Qiblia.


It is worth noting that Israeli occupation authorities have always tried to connect the colony of Yetzhar with larger colonial blocks in the region as to ease the movement of Israeli colonists and to provide them with the needed services. As such, Israeli occupation forces constructed a by-pass road connecting the colony from its northern direction with By-Pass Road 60 leading to the colony of Shave Shomron north of Nablus. Another by-pass road from the colony’s southeastern direction was constructed in an effort to connect the colony with the nearby Itamar colony via Huwwara military camp. The construction of the road has led to the destruction of tens of agricultural dunums from the Palestinian villages of Assiar Al Qiblia, Orief and Huwwara.


Finally, Israeli occupation authorities have taken a serious step when it declared the mountain of Salman Al Farisi as a Nature Reserve associated with the colony. This means the prevention of Palestinian access to tens of dunums of lands that will become governed by the rules and regulations of the colony.



 Prepared by:
The Land Research Center




Categories: Settlers Attacks