Israeli Colonists continue their Attacks against Palestinian Agricultural Lands in Qana Valley

Israeli Colonists continue their Attacks against Palestinian Agricultural Lands in Qana Valley


Qana Valley is located north west of the city of Salfeet. It is considered one of the most beautiful natural settings in Palestine due to the presence of a large number of natural water springs and green trees surrounded by mountains and hills from all directions. Palestinian farmers have been working in cultivating and harvesting hundreds of dunums of the lands of the Valley for tens of years that agriculture has become the main source of income for tens of Palestinian families in the nearby village of Deir Istya. 

However, Israeli occupation forces have targeted the Valley since the early 1970s as to use it for future colonial expansion. As such, Israeli colonies have started to pop up on the hills surrounding the Valley. Seven colonies, to be exact, were constructed on the said locations including Nofim and Yakir in the south, Karni Shomron, Ganat Shomron and Nof Oraniem in the north, Ma’ale Shomron in the west and Amanoeil in the east. In addition, occupation forces and authorities have declared the Valley as a “Nature Reserve” in the same era which meant preventing the Palestinians from using their agriculture lands located in the Reserve. It has to be pointed out also that during the past few years Israeli colonists living in the Valley have carried out a number of attacks against Palestinian farmers in the Valley the last of which took place on the 18th and 24th of May, 2009.

Photo 1: Qana Valley and the colony of Karni Shomron appearing in the background.

Tree Damaging and Uprooting:

A group of colonists from the colony of Karni Shomron damaged and uprooted 120 newly-planted olive trees from Al Nabali species that were planted in the Valley. The colonists took advantage of the darkness of the night and the fact that the land owners were not present and uprooted the trees which belonged to Mr. Haytham Mansour of Deir Istya.

Mr. Mansour expressed the following to Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher: ' My father, Mr. Hasan Mansour, rented a land known as Al Mayadeen in the year 2008. It is located 2 kilometers away from the colony of Karni Shomron in Qana Valley. He planted the land with about 300 citrus trees. Yet, the colonists damaged and uprooted most of the tress during the night hours under the protection of Israeli occupation forces. However, our love to our land that we have been cultivating for hundreds of years pushed us to try again. We have planted the land with olive trees while not listening to the threats to kill us by the colonists if we dared to enter our lands again. The same colonists struck again in April 2009 when they uprooted all of the newly-planted olive trees. It has to be noted that these examples are but two of a series of attacks carried out by these colonists as we are prevented from gaining access to spring waters located near our lands. That is in addition to damaging the agricultural tractor that I own when they placed sand in its fuel tank as well as the daily insults and frequent spitting on us. '

Israeli “Green Police” and the Palestinian Farmers

It has become a frequent event that so-called Israeli “nature police” would chase after Palestinian farmers in Qana Valley as to prevent them from working in their lands, plant any trees there and even rehabilitate it. The pretext used by the “nature police” to justify their actions is that the lands are declared as a “natural protectorate.” A number of Palestinian farmers from Dier Istya and Jinsafut indicated that these policemen prevented them from placing poisons to rid them of the problem of wild pigs that causes a lot of suffering and economic losses to the farmers. The problem was highlighted even further after swine flu has become a world-wide pandemic. The wide spread of the wild pigs has reduced the accessible agricultural lands from 10,000 dunums to a mere 5500 dunums. In addition, Qana Valley has lost half of its lands for the benefit of the Israeli colonists while the agricultural lands in the vicinity of theses colonies are inaccessible due to the increased frequency of colonists’ attacks.

Photo 2: Israeli colonists in Qana Valley.

Israeli Colonies Threatens the Environment in Qana Valley:

The presence of Israeli colonies in the Valley forms a source of threat to the environment of the Valley; the colony of Amonoeil, for example, dumps its sewage into the Valley which led to the pollution of Al Jouza and Al Fawwar water springs as well as Al Bassa and Al Jammal water pools. Other springs and water pools in the western section of the Valley (including Al Tanoor Spring) are being polluted from sewage dumped from the colonies of Karni Shomron and Ma’ale Shomron. Also, solid industrial waste and garbage, especially from the colony of Amonoeil, are usually dumped in a number of locations throughout the Valley. Case in point is the pickles factory in the said colony which dumps its wastewater directly into the Valley.

General Information about the Colonies in the Valley:


Date of Establishment

Built-up Area

Total Area

No. of Colonists (up to 2004)

Karni Shomron





Ma’ale Shomron















Ganat Shomron










Nof Oraneim










Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks