The Israeli Occupation Army closes Ein Al-Zarqa natural reserve in Ramallah

The Israeli Occupation Army closes Ein Al-Zarqa natural reserve in Ramallah

Violation: closure of the road leading to the Ein Al- Zarqa reserve

Location: north of Bittilu village / Ramallah governorate

Date: 22/07/2017

Perpetrators : The Israeli Occupation Army

VIctims: residents of the northern countryside of the city of Ramallah.



On July 22, 2017, the Israeli Occupation Army established an army base at the entrance of Halmish colony from the southeastern side.

  The site of this new military base is located at the junction of the bypass road adjacent to Halmish colony, which leads to the gathering of a number of Palestinian villages, particularly in the north-west of the city of Ramallah (Jamala, Ras Karkar, Deir Ammar, Bittilu, Kharbatah Bani Harith) passing through the nature reserve of Al-Zarqa.


 On the other side, the Israeli occupation army closed the entrance of the northern village of Bittillu with an iron gate. Noteworthy, the road leads to Ein Al-Zarqa and Halmish colony. Through this step, the occupation completely isolated g the reserve from its Palestinian surroundings.


Ein Al- Zarqa natural reserve is located 19 km to the north-west of the city of Ramallah. It has a total of 103 springs located on the edge of its valley. The area of ​​the reserve is 400 dunums that are relative to  Bittilu , Deir Ammar and Jamala, northwest of Ramallah. Half of the forest area is planted with forest trees where the other half are is planted with citrus, guava and beans.

Photo 1: The recently established military base

Photo 2: The colony of Halmish

    The area of Ein Al-Zarqa reserve faces many challenges. A major obstacle is the colonists' continuous attempt to control the area. They are keen to be present on a regular basis, and they are harass Palestinian farmers and threatenthem with weapons.


 It is noteworthy that the occupation army and the colonists have carried out many attacks against the agricultural land and violated farmers rights. Attacks and violations included burning green houses and assaulting farmers during the previous olive seasons.


   To this day, the Israeli occupation is sparing no effort to seize the land of the reserve in order to expand the area of ​​the existing colonies, especially Nahlael and Halmish, which are located mainly on the protected lands there.


Prepared by
 The Land Research Center