Israeli Colonists of Yetzhar set fire to Palestinian fields in Burin Village

Israeli Colonists of Yetzhar set fire to Palestinian fields in Burin Village

On May 22nd, 2009 Mr. Mohammad Raja Al Najjar (46 years old) from the village of Burin became yet another victim of Israeli colonial attacks. He was devastated when a group of extremist colonists from the colony of Yetzhar set his 10-dunum wheat field ablaze. His field is located in an area known as Khillet Aswar, around 400 meters north of the said colony. Mr. Al Najjar, along with his 8-member family, has been preparing the land for harvesting over a 5-day period. The produce of the land are the main source of income for him and his family.

Photo 1: arson results appear on the Land of Burin


Mr. Al Najjr expressed the following to Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher: ' I own a 20-dunum piece of land in the area of Khillet Aswar about 1.5 kilometers south of the village of Burin and about 400 meters away from the colony of Yetzhar. The land is the main source of income for me as I plant it with wheat during the summer seasons in addition to the olive trees present there. We frequently get attacked by the colonists from the nearby colonies, especially from Yetzhar. Attacks include opening fire at us, stealing our farming tools and even physical violence. During the past olive harvest olive trees were broken, burnt while farmers were violently attacked.

I have the habit of planting my land with wheat to be harvested in the month of May as to support my large family. About 6 days ago my family and I worked in the land to prepare it for harvesting as we placed the wheat in piles to dry it up before harvesting. On the 6th day I was devastated when I saw that all of the collected piles we set on fire. All of my work over the year went up on flame. I am right now in a critical position as the wheat seeds were bought on debt. I was waiting for the harvest to pay my debts off. ' 

Photo 2: a Burin citizen inspeeting the damaged Land


Location and History of Yetzhar:

The colony of Yetzhar was established in 1983 atop Palestinian lands from the villages of Burin and Assira Al Qiblia southwest of the city of Nablus. It started as a small colony only to be hugely expanded after tens of agricultural dunums from the villages of Burin, Assira Al Qiblia, Orief, Madama and Hiwara. The built-up area of the colony was 158 dunums in the year 2005 while its surface area was about 1800 dunums. Most of the lands expropriated for the benefit of the colony are located in Parcel 8 in the locations of Salman Al Farisi, Al Marj, Jabal Al Nada and Al Muhr. A monument for the Islamic hero Salman Al Farisi is also located in the said area and the mountain surrounding the colony is named Salman Al Farisi Mountain commemorating him. 


The population of the colony in 1983 was about 64 colonists while in 1998 their number reached 291. As of 2004 there was 534 colonists in the colony 90% of which classify themselves are national religious Zionists.                  

It has to be mentioned that since the early days of 2009 Yetzhar colonists have taken concrete steps to bring additional colonists to live in the colony. These steps included the placement of a number of mobile caravans on Assira Al Qiblia lands at a distance of about 1 kilometer away from the colony. Moreover, internal roads have been established inside the colony in an effort to create additional basic infrastructure to accommodate additional colonists.     

It is worth pointing out that Israeli occupation authorities have worked hard to connect between the colony of Yetzhar and a number of nearby colonies as to create contiguity between them and to facilitate smoother movement of colonists. Case in point is the establishment of a by-pass road connecting the northern parts of the colony of Yetzhar with By Pass Road 60 which leads to the colony of Shavi Shomron located north of Nablus Governorate. In addition, another road was established southeast of the colony to connect it with the notorious colony of Itamar and Hiwara Military Camp. This road went through the lands of the town of Hiwara which led to damaging tens of dunums belonging to the villages of Assira Al Qiblia, Orief and Hiwara   

In addition to what was stated earlier, Israeli occupation authorities have recently declared the Salman Al Farisi Mountain as a Natural Reserve associated with the colony. This meant that Palestinians from Burin and Hiwara won’t be able to access their tens of dunums of lands located there.  


Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlers Attacks