Avigayl Colony Expands on the Expense of Lands of Khirbet Al Mufaggara

Avigayl Colony Expands on the Expense of Lands of Khirbet Al Mufaggara
As the international media is busy reporting about the pressures applied by the new American administration on Israel to freeze building in the settlement andor remove the so-called “illegal outposts”, a group of colonists from the outpost of Avigayl in Yatta have expanded their outpost.
According to the Palestinians of Khirbet Al Mufaggara (which is the closest khirbet to the outpost), Israeli colonists started on Monday the 6th of July 2009 to level lands and placed 3 mobile caravans on lands belonging to Palestinians from Al Hamamdeh and Al Jabarin clans. Eye witnesses who managed to reach close to the expansion site indicated that the caravans were placed far away from each other in an attempt to control the largest area possible.

Photo 1 & Photo 2: One of the three mobile caravans set up by the colonists.
The colonists who moved into these new caravans did not waste their time as they started to chase off Palestinian herders and farmers as trucks began supplying the new caravans with gas and water.
Photo 3: An Israeli truck transporting water to the newly-placed caravans.
The colony was established in the year 2000 atop lands confiscated earlier by Israeli occupation authorities. Colonists overtook 100 dunums and placed around 30 housing units some of which were caravans while the others were more permanent houses.
Khirbet Al Mufaggara:
It is a primitive community located south of the town of Yatta at a distance of no less than 17 kilometers. Its current population is about 150 Palestinians living in 22 families from Al Hamamdeh clan. Its affairs are run by a joint village council between the khirbet and the nearby village of Twani. The village council is headed by Mr. Saber Al Hurraini.
The khirbet is surrounded from all directions by colonies and outposts; the outpost of Havot Ma’on from the north, the outpost of Avigayl from the west, the outpost inhabited by the colonist Jacob Dalia from the south and the colony of Ma’on from the east.
Photo 4: A general view of Al Mufaggara
Previous Attacks:
It is worth pointing out that the colonists of Avigayl do not miss a chance to attack the Palestinians of Al Mufaggara and the nearby Twani. A series of attacks against Palestinian herders and farmers have been reported since the establishment of the colony. The colonists have also consistently prevented Palestinians from reaching their land located in the vicinity of the colony especially the tens of olive-tree-filled dunums positioned beneath the colony. Each year, internationals try to facilitate the access of the Palestinians to their lands during the olive harvest season. They are usually attacked by the colonists of Avigayl and subsequently prevented from collecting the olives despite the presence of Israeli soldiers who are supposed to allow easy access of Palestinians to their crops.
Moreover, the colonists have placed marks around a piece of land east of the colony (an estimated area of 100 dunums) to which Palestinian access is prohibited. This action has deprived Palestinians from reaching their grazing area and their crops planted in the said land.
Photo 5 & Photo 6: The lands to which Palestinians are not allowed to enter.
Moreover, Israeli occupation forces joined the efforts of the colonists to tighten the grip on the Palestinians of Al Mufaggara as Stop Work and demolition orders against a number of structures in the village were issued last year. Please refer back to an earlier case issued by the Land Research Center at the following link. (Israeli halt-of-construction notifications in Yata and Beit Ummer 21,July,2008
Increased Colonists’ Attacks in South Yatta:
The enlargement of the colony of Avigayl came on the heel on increased attacks by Israeli colonist in the area of south Yatta against Palestinian herders and farmers. For example, Ma’on colonists prevented farmers from the Abu Hamid clan from reaching their crop-filled 50 dunum lands located in the vicinity of the colony. Mr. Jaber Abu Hamid informed the Land Research Center’s field worker that “Ma’on colonists chased off my family and threw stones towards them and prevented them from reaching their lands.”  Moreover, work is still on-going on the colonial by-pass road surrounding the colony of Ma’on which the occupation forces embarked upon at the beginning of the year. 


Categories: Settlement Expansion