Setting 350 Trees Alight in Huwwara – Nablus Governorate

Setting 350 Trees Alight in Huwwara – Nablus Governorate
Violation: setting tens of olive trees alight
Location: Wadi al Lahf – Huwwara
Perpetrators: Yizhar colonists
Victims: various farmers
Date: October 1, 2011
The agricultural sector is considered the spine of the Palestinian economy through its vital contribution to the GNI and providing hundreds of job opportunities as well as considering it a main source of food. With every olive picking season, the Israelis escalate their attacks against the Palestinians; chasing farmers away and attacking them become familiar scenes while the Israeli ‘official’ measures, reflected in the expansion of colonies and the construction of the segregation wall, consumes thousands of dunums. This year, the attacks started earlier than expected; it is apparent that it is a response to the Israeli Rabbis who called for depriving the Palestinians from the olive oil because they are ‘outsiders who do not deserve to live’.
A new attack was reported on October 1, 2011 when a group of colonists spread around Wadi al Lahf area; an area edging Yizhar and forbidden to the Palestinians except in certain days of the year. The colonists set a large number of olive trees on fire. The spread of dry weeds and eastern winds aided the fire to spread faster, consuming more than 350 olive trees.
As usual, the Israeli Army intervention was in delaying fire trucks and preventing them from reaching the targeted area. It was not before two hours that they let only one truck to get into the area. 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.  
Categories: Settlers Attacks