The Uprooting and Stealing of 120 Olive Trees in Qaryut Village

The Uprooting and Stealing of 120 Olive Trees in Qaryut Village
Violation: The uprooting and stealing of 120 one-year-old olive trees.
Date: April 18th, 2010.
Violators: Israeli colonists from the colony of Eli.
Affected: Mr. Younis Hamdan Hilal.
Location: Shu’ub Al Karna in the village of Qaryut. The village itself is located 20 kilometers southeast of the city of Nablus. A 4.5 kilometers local road used to connect the village with the city of Nablus. The road has been closed off since the beginning of Al Aqsa Intifada in 2000. The total area of the village is 8,471 dunums of which 312 dunums are its built up area. The population of the village is 2,321. Israeli occupation confiscated 1332 dunum of the villages’ lands for the benefit of the colonies of Eli and Shilo.

Details of Violation:
On the 18th of April, 2010 Israeli colonists from the colony of Eli uprooted 120 olive trees from lands belonging to the village of Qaryut. The village has been the target of frequent and systemized attacks by colonists from three nearby colonies located on the hilltops surrounding the village.
Photos 1+2: The colony of Eli on the hilltop overlooking the village of Qaryut.
In the early dawn hours of Sunday the 18th Israeli colonists uprooted 120 olive trees from a 7-dunum piece of land owned by the 53-year old Mr. Younis Hamdan Hilal. The land (located in a location known as Shu’ub Al Karna) is situated about 150 meters away from the bypass road that surrounds the colony of Eli. The colonists were not satisfied with only uprooting the trees, they even stole them and re-planted them inside of their colony. No trees were left in the land of Mr. Hilal. As a sign of further intimidation and insult, the colonists left a dog’s head in the land as a further evidence of the racism and vindictiveness of the colonists.
Mr. Hilal was heart-broken when he discovered the uprooting. He expressed the following to the Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher: ‘ I have exerted a lot of effort to get the small olive tree bushes and to plant them in my threatened land. I used to plant cereals in my land, yet the continuous attacks by the colonists pushed me to replace the cereals by olive trees in an attempt to safeguard it. I got the trees from an agricultural NGO which enabled me to plant them in my land. I used to bring water on daily basis on the back of my donkey to water the newly- planted trees over a distance of 2 kilometers. I just wonder what is it about the olive tree that makes it a prime target for Israeli colonists and Israeli forces.’
Mr. Hilal filed an official complaint against the colonists at the Israeli Police Station, yet the hope for a serious investigation and conviction are very slim.  For more information regarding the violations against the village of Qaryut, please refer to the case studies researched by LRC including the following:
  • Colonists uproot 27 olive trees in the village of Qaryut – March 2010.
  • The continuation of colonists attacks on Qaryut farmers – Nov. 2009.
  • The construction of a colonial road for the benefit of the colony of Shilo – Jan. 2009.


Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks