The Expansion of the Colony of Brakha at the Expense of Iraq Burin Lands

The Expansion of the Colony of Brakha at the Expense of Iraq Burin Lands
Violation: The leveling of 30 dunums of the lands of the village of Iraq Burin for the benefit of the colony of Brakha.
Location: Parcel 19 lands in a location known as Al Sawma’a
Violators: Brakha colonists.
Victims: The heirs of the following; Mr. Saeed Deib, Mr. Aziz Deib and Mr. Abdel Qader Asa’ad Ibrahim.
Date of Violation: 1st of October, 2009.
Violation Details:   
Israeli bulldozers operated by Brakha colonists leveled large tracks of land east of the village of Iraq Burin. The damaged lands are estimated to be of an area of 30 dunums. The lands will be used for agricultural purposes. The plowed lands are located in Parcel 19 in an area known locally as Al Sawma’a which is located about 2 kilometers away from the village. It used to be planted with grapes and almonds before the colonists placed their hands on it.    

Photo 1 & Photo 2: Brakha colony devours additional lands of Iraq Burin village.
The current plowing is not the first time that Iraq Burin lands have been violated; in mid 2008 about 60 dunums of Iraq Burin’s most fertile lands were confiscated for the benefit of the colony of Brakah. Soon after, the colonists plowed and placed a metal fence around the confiscated lands. The lands are located in Parcel 19 in an area locally known as Al Malsa which is owned by Mr. Abdel Kareem Qasem Qadoos and Mr. Omar Qasem Qadoos who both live in Jordan.
The Iraq Burin village council is planning to file an official complaint to a number of official and rights bodies to demand the return of the lands which were confiscated under the pretext of being “State Lands.”
On another front, colonists from Brakha continued their campaign of harassing and chasing Palestinian herders off of their lands in the areas of Wadi Salman, Al Sawma’a and Al Malsa. The total area of the lands to which Palestinians are not allowed to access due to its presence in the vicinity of the colony is about 500 dunums. If the situation of access denial continues to be de facto, the entire agricultural sector in the area will be threatened and the lands would become an easy prey for future colonial expansion. Fro its part, Israeli occupation forces have imposed upon land owners in the said locations a system of prior coordination to access their lands, a policy that is rejected by the Palestinian farmers. One of these farmers expressed the following to Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher: ‘ We don’t need to get their permission to access the lands that we have owned since the days of our grandfathers. It is our land and we will access it whenever we want. Is it conceivable that Israeli colonists have the right to uproot trees and plow lands that are not theirs while the real land owners are not allowed to even access it? ‘
It is worth pointing out that the villages of south Nablus have been subjected to a wave of semi-daily attacks by colonists. These attacks are characterized of its ferocity and its geographical spread. Most of these attacks were concentrated in the villages of Burin, Iraq Burin, Assiar Al Qiblia, Madama and Huwwara. The population of Huwarra, their lands and their property has become a frequent target of the attacks by Brakha and Yetzhar colonists.
The course of the violent events carried out by the colonists in the past few months against the Palestinian residents and their properties has proven that the official Israeli position did not surpass expressed rejection in the media while actively supporting the aggressive actions of the colonists. That is in addition to the lack of any preventative action or due process vis-à-vis colonist perpetrators.     
Iraq Burin Village:
The village is located 2.5 kilometers south west of the city of Nablus. It is bounded from the north by the city of Nablus, from the east by the village of Til and from the south the villages of Burin and Madama. Its total area is 7,595 dunums of which 186 dunums are its build-up area. The colony of Brakha devoured about 291 dunums of its lands. Its population in the year 2007 was 768 Palestinians.     
The village used to be in the past part of the village of Burin which is located about 3 kilometers away. The decision to consider it as a separate entity was taken by the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that the lands of Iraq Burin are still registered in the Land Registry as Burin lands. 
The clans in Iraq Burin came originally from the village of Burin. The clan of Qadoos was originated in Burin village until it split into two sub-clans one of which moved to a higher hill and started to build homes. The type of stones making the higher hill is called Iraq, thus the name. The Qadoos branch living in Iraq Burin has three sub-clans including Faqeeh, Qa’adan and Lio.
The Colony of Brakha:
The colony was established in 1982 atop lands belonging to the Palestinian villages of Kufr Qallil, Burin and Iraq Burin. The number of colonists living there is 880. Its build-up area is about 647 dunums of which 291 were confiscated from the village of Iraq Burin.   
[1] GIS Unit at LRC.
[2] Ibid.



Categories: Settlement Expansion