The Burning of Tens of Dunums by Barakha Colonists

The Burning of Tens of Dunums by Barakha Colonists
The Burning of Tens of Dunums by Barakha Colonists
Nablus Governorate
Violation: The burning of tens of dunums of Palestinian agricultural land.
Date: The morning of Monday the 26th of July, 2010.
Location: The villages and towns of Kufr Qallil, Burin and Huwwara
Violators: Colonists of Barakha colony.
Smoke clouds covered the skies. The land has turned black. As for the tress, it was totally burnt up and turned into charred skeletons. The surrounding lands were turned into a military bee hive as tens of soldiers were present to provide protection for the arsonists from Barakha and Yetzhar colonies.
On the morning of Monday July 26th, 2010, the villages and towns of Kufr Qallil, Burin and Huwara have encountered yet another day filled with colonists’ attacks which reached all aspects of Palestinian lives to the degree that the name of the colonies of Barakha and Yetzhar has become synonymous with terror, tragedy, racism and extremism. On the indicated day, a group of Barakha colonists went out  from the colony and started to throw stones at the houses of the Palestinian village of Burin in the aftermath of the removal of two bruxes in an illegal colonial outpost located nearby. As part of the “tag price” policy adopted by the colonists, Barakha colonists started to make Burin pay the “price”. In its initial phase, the colonists started to attack the houses of Burin which led to the demolition of a wall surrounding an under-construction house owned by Mr. Ibrahim A’adel Eid. Workers in the house were also targeted.
Events continued to unfold as the colonists torched hundreds of dunums of agricultural lands located in the vicinity of the colony of Barakha in parcels 7, 8 and 9 most of which are planted with olive trees. The fire damaged trees in at least 400 dunums surrounding the colony. The colonists continued their march towards the village of Kuf Qallil under the protection of Israeli occupation soldiers who were present in large numbers as to provide a cover for the attacks of the colonists.
The village of Kufr Qallil had its share of colonists’ attacks throughout the years; more that 65 dunums were torched recently in the village’s southwestern direction. The colonists have burnt tens of olive trees in cold blood which caused great losses to the owners of these dunums especially Hajj Fathi Rasheed Mansour whose 40 dunums were set ablaze. This has caused the burning down of more than 600 olive trees the median age of which is 73 years. As a result, Hajj Fathi is going through a major case of depression due to the sadness he feels for his burnt trees as he has spent so many hours and days in taking care of them only to lose them in one day due to the sheer hatred of the colonists.  
In an interview with Hajj Fathi Mansour with the field researcher of the Land Research Center (LRC), Hajj Fathi expressed the following: ‘ My trees were 73 years old. I spent a great deal of effort and money to take care of them. I have ploughed the land myself and pruned all of its trees on daily basis. My 16 children, 3 wives and myself spent a lot of time bringing stones and rocks from afar to the land as to prepare it for planting. The land used to provide us between 70 and 80 tanks of olive oil a year in addition to 100+ bags of almonds. I used to distribute the almonds among my children and wives. All benefited from the land. We have never bought any quantity of olive oil. I used to be present in the land on daily basis despite of all the harassment from the colonists and occupation soldiers. Now, everything is gone. Nothing is left except for ashes and destruction. My work for the past 73 years is gone….’
The arrogance of Barakha colonists did not stop there. They have taken advantage of the evening hours and the fact that the Palestinians were exhausted from fighting the morning fires and re-started another group of fires in different locations. The Israeli forces and Police were late in responding to the new wave of fires which provided ample time for the colonists to continue their rampage. In total, an additional 90 dunums in an area known as Al Sawwana north of the village of Burin were torched as olive trees were burned to the ground. Afterwards, the colonists moved northwards towards the village of Huwwara and the southeastern lands of Burin. They have set the lands ablaze causing the burning down of 300 olive trees and the breaking of additional 60 trees owned by Mr. Maher Ahmad Hussien Oudeh and Mr. Harbi A’amer Deek in an area known as Khallet Makhna in Huwwara. In addition, the colonists broke the windshield of a Palestinian bus while no Palestinians were able to reach the site of the fire as to try to put it out.  
It is worth mentioning that the colony of Barakha was established in the year 1982 on lands expropriated from the towns and villages of Kufr Qallil, Burin and Irak Burin. Currently, there are 880 colonists living in it. The built up area of the colony is 647 dunums. Since its establishment, the colony has become a daily nuisance and source of continuous harassment by its colonists against the Palestinians residing nearby. Since the beginning of the Second Intifada, tens of cases of killing, theft, burning and physical beatings have been recorded and documented as these colonists consider themselves to be above the law.
The agricultural lands on fire:
Categories: Settlers Attacks