“Israel declared it a Nature Reserve” Israeli Military Evacuation Orders for the Palestinian Lands in Wadi Qana area in Deir Istiya Village North of Salfit Governorate

“Israel declared it a Nature Reserve” Israeli Military Evacuation Orders for the Palestinian Lands in Wadi Qana area in Deir Istiya Village North of Salfit Governorate
On April 30, 2011, five Palestinian farmers from Deir Istiya village north of Salfit at the northern parts of the West Bank, stumbled on Israeli military orders hanged on the trees while they were cultivating their lands in Wadi Qana area. The orders were issued by what is so-called the “Israel Nature and National Park Protection Authority” related to the Israeli Civil Administration, and holding numbers: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 respectively and issued in April, 29, 2011.
The orders were in fact warning notice for the Palestinian owners to evacuate their own lands and to remove and dismantle all what exists on the land point out in the warning notices, this includes but not limited to trees, infrastructure installations, or anything else, under the pretext that the lands area is “Nature Reserve”. The orders also indicated that the owners of the lands have 24 hours to evacuate the lands otherwise they will be subjected to fine, imprisonment and other punitive measures not specified in the notifying orders.
The owners of the targeted lands are:  Mr. Youseph Mustapha Mansour, Mr. Shihadeh Mohammad ‘Awad, Mr. Muqbel ‘Awad, Mr. Haiytham Mansour, and Mr. Rizeq Abu Naser.

Photocopies for part of the Evacuation Orders
Mr. Nazmi Salman, the mayor of Deir Istiya, and in an interview with ARIJ field workers indicated that the targeted lands in Wadi Qana area are owned by the local residents of Deir Istiya and they used to cultivate it dozens of years ago, and only before few days the Israeli Occupation Army installed a banner on the entrance of Wadi Qana area indicated that the area classified as a “Nature Reserve”. See the pictures below:
Pictures for the targeted lands in Wadi Qana -Deir Istiya
Wadi Qana………. Systematic Eradication
Wadi Qana is located to the north east of Deir Istya surrounded by the Palestinian villages of Jinsafut, Kafr Laqif, ‘Azzun (north), Sniriya, Kafr Thuluth (west), and Qarawet Bani Hassan (south), Amatin (east).
Around 350 people used to live in Wadi Qana until most of them were forced to leave by the Israeli Occupation Army in 1986. The ruins of their houses are still visible beneath Karni Shomron settlement.
Wadi Qana is known for its fertile land, beautiful nature, and availability of water where 11 natural springs exist in the area and currently controlled by the Israelis. Most of the lands in Wadi Qana are property of farmers of Deir Istiya.  The total area of Wadi Qana is more than 10000 dunums in area; it is mostly planted with olive trees, citrus, and fruits, where agriculture constitute the main source of income for dozens of Palestinian families living in the surrounding villages. See the map below:
Map of the attracted lands in Wadi Qana- Deir Istiya
Surrounded by Eight Illegal Israeli Settlements
According to its strategic location in which it lies between 8 Illegal Israeli settlements, Wadi Qana became a legitimate target for the Israeli Occupation Army and for the Israeli settlers in the adjacent Illegal settlements to confiscate the lands for the interest of expanding the Israeli settlements. In April 2011, Wadi Qana witnessed various colonial and expansionist violations as follow:-
  • April 2, 2011: the Israeli Occupation Army declared Wadi Qana area a closed military area and prevented Palestinian farmers and citizens from accessing the valley.
  • April 11, 2011:   a herd of Israeli settlers of the nearby Immanuel settlement opened their wastewater pipes towards the lands of Wadi Qana.
  • April 28, 2011: Tens of Israeli settlers from Yakir settlement physically attacked Palestinian farmers in Wadi Qana and threw stones on number of farmers working in their lands, scattered their personal belongings and forced them to leave their land. The targeted farmers: Hilweh Abed Al Halim Mansour, Abed Al Karem Ahmad Mansour and Fayza Khader Mansour.
Below is the table of the eight Illegal Israeli settlements that encircle Wadi Qana:-
Table of the Illegal Israeli Settlement encircle Wadi Qana and built inside Deir Istiya Village Boundary
Israeli Settlement
Date of Establishment
Area –dunums ( Inside the Village Boundary)
Ginnot Shomron
Qiryat Netafim
Karni Shomron
Ma’ale Shomron
Source :ARIJ Database 2011
Deir Istiya ……..General Glance
Deir Istiya is a small Palestinian village, located 7 km away north of Salfit City, and 25 km away from the city of Nablus. It is placed under Salfit Governorate jurisdiction. A side road connects the village to the main road in the area, Nablus- Jerusalem road. It is surrounded by different Palestinian villages including Zeta, Kafl Haris, Haris, Amatin, ‘Azzun, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Biddya, and others.
The village is inhabited by 4,860 people (PCBS 2010); most of them depend on agriculture as a main source of income. The total area of Deir Istiya is 34,102 dunums, 487 dunums of which constitute the village build-up area.
Legal & International Status
Israel is moving steadily in its colonial and expansionist long term plan to extend its control over the Palestinian lands, to expand its Illegal settlements and to dismember the Palestinian lands into cantons and enclaves strangulated by the Apartheid Wall and by the Illegal settlements in order to eliminate any chance for a future sovereign, independent viable, Palestinian State.
The confiscation and evacuation of the Palestinian-owned lands by the Israeli Occupation Army constitute a grave breach for the International law rules and conventions where it refuses to comply with the International law and legitimacy for more than 60 years.
  • Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
  • Moreover, articles 53 & 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 indicated that:Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • Also Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides:In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.
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Categories: Military Orders