Land grab for military purposes in ‘Awarta village

Land grab for military purposes in ‘Awarta village
Violation: expropriating 2.5 dunums of Palestinian lands.
Date: March 28, 2010.
Location:  Parcel 3, Al M’alaqa region, ‘Awarta village.

Violators: the Israeli Occupation Army.
Victims: ‘Awarta villagers.
On March 28, 2010, the Israeli Occupation Army handed ‘Awarta Village Council a confiscation order (number T/12/10). The purpose of the land grab is military; the area will be designated for constructing a guard tower and a path leading to the tower.
Picture 1+2: the confiscation order
The order, if carried out, is considered extremely dangerous. The designated area is 3 km away from the nearby Etmar colony, and 5 km away from ‘Awarta village. The land is located in the middle of hundreds of extremely fertile lands that the Israelis have disallowed the Palestinians to exploit for years for the sake of ‘Etmar security’. The locals fear that this is a prior step towards expropriating the whole area.
Amjad Darawsha, 32, a member of ‘Awarta village Council board stated to an LRC observer:’ since the beginning of the second Intifada, the colonists have escalated their aggressions against the Palestinians using any available method. The Israeli Occupation Army announced that the area is a ‘military zone’ ten years ago. None of the locals was able to reach their lands except a few who were able to get extremely limited permits allowing them to get there in very special occasions.
Although, some of the villagers were able to obtain permits during the most recent olive-picking season, they were not spared. Certainly, the existence of the Israeli Occupation there is useless when the Palestinians are harmed. 
On March 22, 2010, two Palestinian young men were executed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers. The victims, Salah and Mohammad Qawariq, were shot few meters away from the area mentioned in the military order. This is a clear evidence of the Israeli Army brutality and the way soldiers treat Palestinians. Knowingly, the order was issued in parallel with the executions, which was provocative to the mourning residents.
This order is nothing but a step towards taking over more land. It is known that 12 out of 23 thousand dunums of the village total area were confiscated since the establishment of Etmar colony’.
‘Awarta is located 6 km away from Nablus city, its total population is 6000 people excluding the ones who immigrated in 1948 and 1967. ‘Awarta states a clear evidence of the Palestinian agony, its inhabitants suffer from continuous harassments by the Israeli Occupation soldiers positioned in Huwwara military base.
Picture 3+4: ‘Awarta village
Picture 5: Awarta and Huwwara military base

Recently, Israeli colonists have been repeatedly breaking into the village under the protection of the Israeli Army especially during the early hours of almost every day.
The colonists claim that they are visiting cultural sites; however, it is clear in the eye of the beholder that their claims are false and they are nothing near the truth. The Quran verses inscribed on the walls of these sites provide apparent and undisputed evidence that these sites are not Jewish and have never been.
Nevertheless, this never stopped the colonists from showing up in the village every once and while, restraining movement, bullying and harassing the residents, sabotaging property, etc.
‘Awarta witnessed another catastrophe (Nakba) in 1984 when Etmar was established. The colony is considered a barrier that separated Nablus city and the surrounding villages from the Jordan valley area.
Picture 6: parts of Etmar, the caravans are spread randomly
to take over as much Palestinian land as possible.
During 1984, the corner stone of the colony was put in place by a group of Me’er school student. At first, it was called ‘Tal Haim’; the purpose of establishing the colony was reestablishing the ‘Jewish life style’ in the location considered ‘a religious symbol’ relating it to the ’70 ancestors’ according to Jewish historians. Soon afterwards, the colony started expanding, multiplying its area many times and changing its name to Etmar.  Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime Minister announced multiplying the colony’s area ten times in 2000, placing the corner stone himself.
His plan was constructing a massive colonies line to the east of Nablus that passes near the Palestinian villages in the area and expanding towards the Jordan valley region, covering tens of thousands of dunums.  Etmar is now very close to Huwwara military base and connected to it by a by-pass road. It is also connected to Alon Moreh colony through the same road.
The colony and the surrounding colonies are all connected through by-pass roads network. The whole entity is included in the Israeli plans as part of the ‘Israeli Jewish state’. In ‘Awarta, the colony expands from Huwwara military camp to the west to ‘Khallit al ‘Adas’ to the west, 6600 meters long. In addition, it expands to the borders of Rujib and Beit Furiq, about 1500 meters wide. The total area of the colony is 12000 dunums.
Etmar colony name is widely connected to many horrific events, in addition to the most recent executions of Mohammad (19) and Salah Qawariq (19), many violations were recorded including, burning trees and crops, land grab, burglary of crop and herds, random shooting at Palestinian houses by the Israeli Army and colonists, and brutally beating whoever tries to plow or work in his land. As a result, hundreds of Palestinians were killed, injured, or taken into custody.

Categories: Military Orders