Kharsina settlement is expanding on Palestinian grounds of Al Baq’a

Kharsina settlement is expanding on Palestinian grounds of Al Baq’a
While the international community is demanding the immediate stoppage of all colonization activities, and while the most recent call for settlement freeze was made by the Spanish PM, Mr. Jose Luis Zapatero in order to clear the way for resuming negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis the Israeli government is proceeding on its expansionist activities in Kharsina settlement which stands on lands confiscated from Hebronite Palestinians in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
In this regards the Israeli bulldozers have started leveling lands that belong to members of Jaber family. The owners stated that the recent construction works have started in September, 2009.

A visit was made by an LRC Observer who witnessed the Israeli bulldozers working in the land that was confiscated in 1998 and was designed for building a new settlement ever since.
According to different sources in Al Baq’a area near Kharsina, the occupation authorities intend to add 12 residential units to the settlement pointing that it is part of a project that started in 2000. The occupation authorities built 24 residential units in the area back then and now they intend to increase the number to 37.
Picture 4: a map showing the construction site


Picture 5: Kharsina settlement
The Israeli Occupation Authorities expropriated the lands of Jaber family in 1998 without even having the courtesy to inform them about their decision. Members of the family stated that they heard about the confiscation in the local news, more precisely Al Quds newspaper.
The family has deeds proving their ownership of the 11 dunum’s land since the Turkish (Ottoman) regime. But the Israeli forces took the land and built a fence around it. Two years later, the establishment of Kharsin began.
Picture 6: Jaber family disapproval.
The land was the property of:
1.     Husam Issa Jaber
2.     Mousa Abdul Men’em Jaber
3.     Deeb Jaber
4.     Na’im Yaqeen Jaber
The Israeli settlers boost their aggressions against Palestinian farmers in Al Baqa’a:
On October 2009, the settlers attacked Al Baq’a area eastern Hebron burning down irrigation pipes belonging to ‘Ata Jaber. That was soon after the destruction of water reservoirs by the Israeli Occupation Army.
In an interview with LRC field researcher ‘Ata Jaber stated: ‘ Two settlers riding horses attacked my farm at night and set fire to piles of water pipes alongside some water tanks which I used for irrigation. This  was the second attack of its kind  in three months’.
Picture7: fire evidence.
Jaber pointed that he recognized the attackers saying that they are ‘the sons of a settler called Edi’ from Qiryat Arba’ settlement, and that they occasionally make such sabotages against Palestinians farms.
Such settlers’ aggressions cause a great deal of damage to Palestinian farmers. Jaber, father of 6, stated that the estimated loss he suffered was about $1000 beside the damage caused by being incapable of watering the plants as 70% of the plants died of drought.
Picture 8: plants facing drought.
Moreover, on July 19, 2009, the Israeli Occupation Authorities handed ‘Ata Jaber an order prohibits him from working or farming the land that surrounds his house. The land was revived in the year 2000 and ‘Ata has been using it for farming since then. The land is about 4.3 dunums in area and contains a water reservoir that can hold about 48 m3 of water.
Picture 9: a photocopy of the Israeli Occupation Authority Order. 

Picture 10: ‘Ata water reservoir.
The latest order states that ”Ata Jaber must leave the land and return it to its status quo’. Regardless of the fact that ‘Ata has a permit issued by the Occupation Authorities which allows him to work in his land the Israeli Occupation Authorities have cancelled the permission without giving any reasons.
Picture 11: ‘Ata Jaber in his land.
Al Baq’a children’s misery on their way to their school:
The Israeli Occupation Authorities impose strict travel restrictions on 600 people who live in Al Baq’a. Accessing the city of Hebron is almost impossible for these people because of all the obstacles put on the entrances of the area. Furthermore, the Israeli Army had closed the street that leads to Al Baq’a area which is near Qiryat Arba’ with an iron gate through which the Palestinian traffic is prohibited.
These restrictions reflected on the locals, especially the children. Since Al Baq’a is divided into 3 parts, the children are forced to go to three different schools in accordance to the area they live in and the distance from school.
The children of the eastern part go to Al ‘Edessa School near Sa’ir, they have to walk about 3 km in order to get to school. Children of the western part have to go to UNRWA School, Jabal Johar School, Tareq bin Ziyad School, or any school in the old city of Hebron, these children have to walk about 1 km every day to get to the gate near Qiryat Arba’ then use public transportation to get to their schools. Finally, children of the southern part go to Al Jalajel School, which is about 2.5 km away.
School construction denied
The misery of these children is caused by the fact that the Israeli Occupation Authorities prevent the building of any educational institute in Al Baq’a, not even a kindergarten.  The locals stated that they have tried many times to get permission for building a school but their request was always rejected for no specific reason.
It must be pointed that the Israeli Occupation Authorities has stopped the construction of a medical center that was supposed to serve the residents of Al Baq’a because there isn’t any medical clinics in the area. This forces the patients to go to Bani Na’im, if any mean of transportation was available, in order to transfer the patient to hospitals in Hebron city. The locals added that many times they had to use animals to move patients to the nearest mean of transportation.
Picture 12: Rudaina Jaber talking to LRC
Mrs. Rudaina Jaber, a local mother, explained to LRC the suffering of the women in the area, how much they are worried about their sons and daughters who have to walk their way to school especially in winter times. She added that the parent’s biggest fear is the assaults of the settlers who roam the mountains freely. She said that sometimes she has to escort her children to school to protect them.
Mrs. Jaber added that aggressions of the settlers and the Israeli occupation forces have deprived her from contacting her family in Hebron saying that she cannot leave her house empty out of the fear of possible settlers attack pointing that in 2001, the settlers attacked her house, burnt it, and tried to shoot at her which caused her abortion.

Categories: Settlement Expansion