Setting tens of Olive Trees Ablaze ‘Aqraba – Nablus District

Setting tens of Olive Trees Ablaze ‘Aqraba – Nablus District
Violation: torching 150 dunums of lands.
Perpetrators: Itmar colonists.
Victims: a number of ‘Aqraba’s farmers.
Date: July 4, 2011.

Itmar colonists escalated their attacks against Palestinians residing in ‘Aqraba. On July 4, 2011, a group of colonists set fields located in an area known as ‘Shib al Ward’ ablze. The flames devoured 150 dunums of fields mostly planted with olives; some of them are hundreds of years old.
Picture 1-2: smoke rising around ‘Aqraba
According to ‘Aqraba Council, 150 olive trees were completely burned beside 250 partially burned. The area was the flames rose has been unreachable since 2001; the Israeli Army prevents Palestinians from getting to areas nearby the colony. This encourages the colonists to mistreat the land and probably take over it. The area has suffered from numerous attacks throughout the last decade.
Jubran bani Mnya, one of the victims, stated to an LRC Observer: ‘What happened to our olive trees is a copy if what happened back in 1948; it is an organized crime; the intend to chase us out of our lands. Burning these lands is more like our death certificate! These trees were planted by our great ancestors; torching it could only mean our death! I cannot describe the feeling I had when I saw the trees being consumed by flames; the trees were like a beacon for us but we were deprived from reaching them. He said that the fire is still on; the Israelis do not care about the trees, they are showing their hatred of the tree that was blessed in the Koran. The occupation obstructed the Palestinian fire trucks and prevented them from rescuing the trees’.
Itmar, a hazardous entity:
The corner stone of the colony was put in place in 1984 when the so-called Israeli Supreme Court ordered the dismantling of an outpost in ‘Rujib’ and moving it to a new location using helicopters. The colony was built by the hands of students of ‘Me’ir’ School who called ‘Tal Haim’ indicating the restart of the ‘Jweish life’ in the site which is considered a spiritual and religious symbol. It is, according to their belief, connected to Eleazar and the 70 elderlies according to Jewish traditions.
Itmar, nowadays, is three times its original size; it expanded over lands of Beit Furil, Al Yanoun, and Rujib. Its total area has reached 6963 dunums with a built up area of 253 dunums inhabited by 651 colonists. (*source: FMEP).


Categories: Settlers Attacks