A New Colonial Outpost in Iskaka and Yasouf – Salfit

A New Colonial Outpost in Iskaka and Yasouf – Salfit
Violation: establishing a new colonial outpost on the lands of Iskaka and Yasouf.
Perpetrators: Rihalim colonists.
Victims: a number of families in both villages.
Date: October 13, 2011.
Location: parcel 3, an area known as ‘Al Qinnina’ in both villages.
Colonists of Rihalim commenced on the establishment of a colonial outpost over 22 dunums of lands captured in 2009 by the same colonists.Entrance to these lands was strictly forbidden to the Palestinian owners. The colonists have recently started the establishment of a new colonial outpost in the captured land.The support and assistance of the Israeli Army made the placement of 16 mobile homes an easier task.
It must be noted that the village councils of Yasouf and Iskaka filed a complaint in the Israeli Military Court of Bet El in regard to the captured lands.The Court claimed that ‘the land is being temporarily used by a colonist who is using it for herding and that he will soon be evacuated.’
However, the incident simply shows that the colonial expansions and the colonists’ aggressions are not ‘isolated’ incidents but planned actions that are done in coordination and support of the Israeli government.
Iskaka Village Council Head stated to an LRC observer: ‘the Israelis are brutally attacking the eastern and southern parts of the village.The Israelis prevent the Palestinians from exploiting lands they owned and used for generations despite being able to prove that.In addition, they declared the lands edging Rihalim, Ariel, and Tipuah as military zones were access for Palestinians is prohibited except in certain times of year while it’s an open field for the colonists.In the first days of July, some of the villagers received grants to rehabilitate 25 dunums of land in Al Qinnina area, south east Iskaka.The lands were edging the colony located only 2 km away from the heart of the village; the locals managed to acquire permits to allow them to rehabilitate lands in areas classified ‘C’ according to Oslo, so they did.
However, a month later, in August 2010, Israeli troops appeared in the area, ordered the immediate stoppage of work, and ordered the contractor to leave the area with the dozers unless he wants them to be confiscated.‘He wondered: ‘what kind of democracy allows the colonists to capture the lands, destroy the trees, and place mobile homes there while the owners are deprived from the right to plant their lands?
The village of Iskaka is located 4 kilometers east of the city of Salfit on a top of a hill overlooking the nearby village of Yasouf. According to the PCBS’s 2007 census, the population of Iskaka is about 1230. The main clans of the village are Harb, Taher, Lami, Hameida in addition to some smaller clans the roots of whom can be traced to the village of Al Teira located in the 1948 Palestine. The total area of the village is about 18,000 dunums while its built-up area is 600 dunum.  
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