Beit Ummar: Palestinian Town, continued to get targeted by the Israeli settlers for more land and natural resources grab

Beit Ummar: Palestinian Town, continued to get targeted by the Israeli settlers for more land and natural resources grab
On the first of August 2011, Israeli settlers from Karmi Tsor settlement led a survey mission under the protection and guidance of the Israeli Army to the lands of Beit Ummar town north of Hebron governorate. The aim of the survey mission was for the Israeli settlers to identify and locate the water springs and wells in the area, as an initial assessment step to control the water resources located in the surrounding vicinity of their settlement in order to secure additional water resources for Karmi-Tsor settlers.  
The targeted surveyed locations of Beit Ummar were Sha’ib-Isyar quarter at the northern part of the town, and Al-Mzir’a and Jala quarters at the western part of the town. The settlers survey mission lasted for 6and half hours during which they pin-pointed many water resources locations that residents-farmers of Beit Ummar use for agricultural purposes and the daily needs. The main point of the operation for the survey was near the house of A’wad Al-Nahas, from which they cross-referenced location marked at the maps they already had and provided for them by the Israeli Civil Administration.
The owner of the house and the residents were not allowed to leave their house for the first half an hour when they where scouting the area using military binoculars. Below is an image showing the location of the house of A’wad Al-Nahas used as a command center by the settlers.

Image 01
 The water springs and wells that were surveyed by the Israeli settlers and the Israeli Army are E’in Al-Bwira water spring, Al-Sayeda Najla Water well, and Jala Water spring. Image 02 & Image 03, & Image 04, shows the water springs and wells that were surveyed at their locations.
In Jala quarter, the Israeli settlers broke into the Islamic cemetery and made their way to Al-Sayeda Najla Tomb, where they settled performed Jewish religious rituals inside the cemetery.

Image 02                                                            Image 03                                                  Image 04
Palestinian residents also testified that while doing the probing for the water resources; the Israeli settlers, and under the protection of the Israeli Army soldier, vandalized the agricultural fields and crops while moving around the cultivated fields that belongs to the Palestinian farmers in the area. The Palestinian farmers on their part attempted to stand up to the Israeli settlers who were armed to stop any further harm to the land and the planted trees. The Israeli settlers on their part; acting under the protection and authority of the Israeli Army responded with shooting few rounds of bullets in the air to scare off the Palestinian farmers; while threatening their life if they (the farmers) continue to stand in their way.   
ARIJ field Team met with one of the land owners; Mr. Muhammad ‘Awad, who said that the settlers are aiming to control the area surrounding the settlement; including  all the water resources, wells and springs, in order in preparation to extend the settlements’ jurisdiction further from the current built up area to allow more construction of housing projects to take place in the settlement of Karmi-Tsor.
The targeted lands and the water resources there are privately owned lands belonging to Palestinians and used for agricultural purposes or to cope with population growth in the future. The sequences of the Israeli settlers’ plan there are devastating and damaging to the lives of the Palestinians living there; hitting their way of life and their livelihood; and ultimately jeopardizing their sustainability in that area.
What is happening on the lands of Beit Ummar is not new, the settlers have attacked the town and terrorized the citizens several times, either by attacking or burning the agricultural fields and damaging their properties and/ or by shooting at civilians or physically assaulting them.
About the Israeli Settlement
Karmi Tsor settlement was established in 1984. Its current population is 757 settlers, controlling some 327 dunums of the Palestinians’ lands. Following the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, the settlers of Karmi Tsor established an outposts within the settlement’s vicinity to expand the construction area of the settlements, which includes new housing units and synagogue. In Image 05, Image 06, and Image 07 shows the Outpost, established following the 2005 Gaza Unilateral Withdrawal; the watch towers, Synagogue, and new building units.
Image 05                                                         Image 06                                                          Image 07
Beit Ummar:
Beit Ummar is a Palestinian community – Town, located on the main road between Bethlehem and Hebron Governorates. It is located 10 Km north of Hebron city, and 15 Km south of Bethlehem. It has a total area of 40,150 dunums, of which 32% (13000 dunums) constitutes the built-up area (population exceeding 15000 Palestinians), and 52% (21000 dunums), while some 4000 dunums (10%) were confiscated over different periods of time by the Israeli occupation.
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Categories: Settlers Attacks