Wild Boars in West Bank Causing Damage to Palestinian Villages and Farms

Wild Boars in West Bank Causing Damage to Palestinian Villages and Farms

Wild boars are one of the many wildlife animals present today in Israel and Palestine.  They are more common in the northern part of Israel, and can be found in the Hula Valley, the Golan and Galilee area, in the Carmel Mountains around Haifa, and around the Alexander River. See Photo 1


Wild boars tend to roam in herds or 20 or 30 and can weight up to 200 pounds.  Though native to the area, wild boars can be very destructive to farmland and village structures.  Wild boars destroy fledging crops, can uproot small trees, and also can be aggressive to humans and domestic animals, such as sheep and goats.  They are omnivorous meaning that they eat both plant and animal materials.  Complaints against wild boars have been made by Palestinian villages but also by numerous groups in the Haifa District of Israel. 

Recently, there have been reports that settler owned boars have been released by the Israelis into Palestinian villages intentionally.  On June 3rd, local residents of Salfit reported that Israeli settlers from neighboring Ariel settlement released boars into their village causing havoc and destroying crops.  The Palestinian Agricultural Trade Union also reported earlier that boars had been moving into Palestinian villages and destroying crops.  There are other claims that the Israeli military is also releasing these wild boars into Palestinian villages to destroy crops, which is the main source of income and livelihood for many small communities.

Israeli's claim that they are not taking part in the growing population of boars in the West Bank or in releasing them to Palestinian farmlands and villages.  In fact, they counter that they cannot control the animal population in the West Bank because this area is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and out of their jurisdiction. 

Environmental Affects of the Segregation Wall :-

While it is unclear if Israeli settlers or military members are purposefully releasing boars to Palestinian villages, it is agreed upon that the Segregation wall has cut into the natural habitat of the wild boar population.

The Segregation Wall has caused a worsening of the situation as the animals are driven from their natural habitats.  The dissecting bypass roads and the Segregation Wall cause wildlife, including the wild boars, to search for new habitat.  As their natural lands are being chopped into sections, the wild boars are looking for new areas of habitat which bring them closer to Palestinian villages and Israeli settlements.  Some environmentalist call for the Segregation Wall to include small holes for the animals to pass through allowing for natural migration. 

Though exact statistics are unavailable regarding the wildlife population, the Israeli National News in December of 2007 reported that Israeli Army spotters (whose job it is to watch for terrorist movement across borders) began tracking animal movement in the northern Palestinian towns of Qalqiliya and Tulkarm.  The same article reports that the logs being kept by the IDF show that the  population of wild boar has been skyrocketing.    


[1] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131834

[2] http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=38288

[3] http://www.imemc.org/article/18609

[4] http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/138045



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlers Attacks