Ravaging 36 Olive Trees in Huwwara town – Nablus governorate

Ravaging 36 Olive Trees in Huwwara town  – Nablus governorate
Violation: ravaging 36 olive trees.
Location: Al Lahif area, Huwwara, Nablus.
Perpetrators: Yizhar colonists.
Victims: Yosof and Dirar Hamid.

Since the occupation of the West Bank, the Israelis have been trying to take over Palestinian resources and property to support the flourish of the Israeli agricultural sector. The Israelis have realized the importance of olive trees to the Palestinians who not only consider it as a source of income but use it as a symbol of their struggle; thus, the Israelis consider the olive trees as their enemy and they spared no chance to destroy it.
The colonists have been trying to destroy as much olive fields as they could throughout the years, besides, they have been attacking Palestinian farmers to stop them from exploiting these fields and to persuade them to evacuate it. It has been seen through the years that the colonists’ aggression rates drastically increase during the olive picking season.
On September 9, 2011, a group of Yizhar colonists waited for the farmers to leave their fields before they launched their attack which resulted in ravaging 36 30-year-old olive trees in an area known as Al Lahf in Huwwara.
Picture 1-2: one of the victims checking the damage
‘They uproot and we plant’ with these simple words, Yusuf Hamed (41), one of the victims, started his statement to an LRC observer, he said: ‘for a long time now, we have been clashing with the colonists; they have been observing us for a while. The colonists try to intimidate us and sometimes harass us as long as we are in our 8-dunum-field; during the last olive picking season, the colonists impeded us with stones under the nose of the Israeli Police that did nothing to stop them.The colonists aggressions continue unabated but it will never stop us from being in our land and protect it from their greed.The land is like a son to me and I know that being in it is enough to enrage these colonists who cut my trees to force me to leave my land; despite that, I am determined to stay here and replant my land.’
Al Lahf area has been facing a great deal of similar aggressions recently; the colonists have tried many times to take over lands and place mobile homes there but were stopped by the Palestinian owners.
The colony of Yizhar was established in 1983 on Palestinian lands belonging to the villages of Burin and Asira Al Qiblia south west of the city of Nablus. The colony has expanded multiple times ever since as additional tens of dunums were confiscated for that purpose. The additional dunums were taken from the villages of Burin, Asira Al Qiblia, Oreef, Madama and Huwwara. The built-up area of the colony was 158 dunums as of 2005 while the area of land under its jurisdiction is about 1,800 dunums located in Parcel 8. The confiscated lands were from the locations of Salman Al Farisi, Al Marj, Jabal Al Nada and Khalil Salameh Al Muhr.   
The number of Israeli colonists in the colony has grown over the years; in 1983 there were 64 colonists while in 1998 the number grew to 291. In 2004 around 534 colonists lived there. Around 90% of them are from the Israeli extreme right.  

Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlers Attacks