Itamar colonists ravage land in area classified B according to Oslo

Itamar colonists ravage land in area classified B according to Oslo

Violation: Ravaging land in area B in order to take it over

Date: 30/01/2014

Location: Yanoun- Nablus governorate

Perpetrators: Colonists of Itamar

Victims: People of Yanoun


Yanoun, 4 km to the south of Aqraba in Nablus, is an example of the hostility Palestinians suffer from all around the West Bank. Since 2000, the village has suffered from numerous attacks on Palestinians and their properties; most of these attacks were committed by colonists of Itamar. Itamar and nearby colonial outposts are expanding at the expense of Yanoun and nearby villages.

Picture 1: The road Palestinians are banned from using

Picture 2: Lands in area B where Palestinians are prohibited from taking advantage of

Picture 3: Itamar colony

The greed of Itamar colonists did not stop at stealing land and building random colonial outposts but got expanded to taking over vast areas, more than 3,000 dunums in area, and turning them into closed military zones. The lands are located along Awarta- Yanoun road which has been closed since Al Aqsa Intifada. The lands are in an area classified B (where PA is in charge of civil matters with Israel responsible for security) according to Oslo Accords and have been ravaged lately by the colonists in order to be taken advantage of.

According to Yousef Deiriya, a farmer form Yanoun: “Since 2000, i.e. Al Aqsa second Intifada, Yanoun and nearby villages witnessed a ferocious wave of attack by colonists in response to the Prime Minister back then, Ariel Sharon, who called for building random outposts wherever it is applicable and seizing mountains for constructing colonies.” Since then, farmers are denied access to their lands adjacent to Itamar. They also refrain from using the Awarta – Aqraba road though it is open for fear of being attacked by the nearby colony.”

Deiriya added, “Colonists were not content with stealing land but they also sought turning hundreds of agricultural dunums surrounding the colony into closed military zones to which Palestinians are denied access unless with prior coordination with District Coordination Office at specific times. And this is how 3,000 dunums in area B, south of Itamar colony and Awarta-Yanoun road, turned into closed military zones and as a result people are not allowed to take advantage of the road that could save 12 km of travelling.”

He also commented: “There is a systematic policy followed by the Israeli occupation army in coordination with colonists meant to prohibit farmers from reaching their lands. Though according to Oslo Accords, the Palestinian side enjoys civil authority but the Israeli occupation and colonists do not abide by Oslo as they refuse farmers passage to their lands except in olive harvesting season and only for two days. On top of that, colonists graze sheep and harvest olive in Palestinian lands under the protection of the army.” The farmers filed complaints to the District Coordination Office but they only received promises in return.

Yanun is 15 km to the east of Nablus city. There is not any road network that connects the village to the city except the old road which was renovated only lately. The street leads to 'Aqraba village. The village borders extend to reach 'Aqraba, Beit Furik, and 'Awarta villages. To the east there is Makhola colony and by-pass Road 90. The total area of the village is 16,000 dunums including 1,668 dunums built up area.

According to Palestinian official sources, there are 102 people living in the village, most of them belong to Bani Jaber and Marar clans.  Some of the residents are refugees originally from the occupied village of 'Ajur which was occupied and destroyed back in 1948. Itmar colony has been expanding on the village lands as it took over more than 503 dunums from the village till now.

Prepared by
 The Land Research Center

Categories: Settlements