- 8 dec 2010
Settler visit closes Salit village overnight
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Residents of the northern West Bank town of Kilf Haris were ordered to close their shops early Wednesday as Israeli soldiers evacuated the area ahead of a visit by religious Israelis to a nearby tomb.
Locals said they believed the military escort of at least 10 armored vehicles was for a group of settler rabbis heading to a shrine in the village.
During the visit, witnesses said, a series of checkpoints and guard posts were erected and remained in place until the group withdrew.
An Israeli military spokesman said a group of 30 Israeli civilians were escorted on an "arranged, pre-authorized secured visit to the grave of Yehoshua Ben-Nun ... for a Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony." He said the visit proceeded without incident.
Security sources confirm that similar visits are carried out at night every few months, with one source saying Israeli forces do not close the area, but "advise local residents to stay indoors to avoid friction."
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340004 19 sep 2011, 15:31 , Respect
Settlers Violence -- Interview with Ahmad Jaradat
(3:28) Settlers Violence -- Interview with Ahmad Jaradat
Fall 2010 was marked by a drastic raise in attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.
According to a report published by the United Nation's Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs during the olive harvest 50 incidents of attacks against Palestinians were reported.
According to Ahmad Jaradat, the AIC coordinator of the Settlers' Violence Project, attacks on Palestinians during the last 4 years we have seen attacks on Palestinians during olive harvest. 20 sep 2011, 23:00 , Respect
Lawyer: Settlers planning to seize Jerusalem home
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Settler groups are planning to take over another house in Silwan, a flashpoint neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, a presidential legal advisor said Friday.
Ahmad Ar-Ruweida, Jerusalem legal affairs advisor, said his office has received information that settler organizations, supported by right-wing parties and Israeli police, plan to seize a Palestinian property in the Batn Al-Hawa area of Silwan.
The home would be the fifth property seized by settlers in the last three months, the lawyer said, and the 40th home in Silwan to be occupied by settlers.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=340849 21 sep 2011, 11:37 , Respect
(2:42) Settler violence exposed
- 15 dec 2010
Settlers begin construction of housing at East Jerusalem yeshiva
New construction starts on 18 apartments around the Beit Orot Yeshiva on the Mount of Olives.
Settlers said on Wednesday they are building new housing at a religious school on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, despite Palestinian and international criticism of Israeli construction in the part of the city claimed by the Palestinians.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have stalled over the issue of settlement construction. Israel has never bowed to demands to curb construction in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and building there goes on constantly.
The new construction began on 18 apartments in three buildings in a small settler enclave around the Beit Orot Yeshiva, or religious seminary, on the Mount of Olives across from the Old City, near several Arab neighborhoods. The school is funded by American Jewish activist Irving Moskowitz, who has also backed settler enclaves inside Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, causing considerable friction with local Palestinians.
Avi Lerner, spokesman for the school, said the buildings, which have Israeli construction permits, will house staff and their families. The new buildings will "strengthen the Israeli and Jewish presence in Jerusalem, both on the east and west sides," he said.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967 and annexed it, a move not recognized internationally. Since then, Israel has built a ring of Jewish neighborhoods around East Jerusalem, home now to about 200,000 people.
In addition, settler groups have bought property and built housing in established Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, including the Arab Quarter of the Old City, and this one on the Mount of Olives. Palestinians charge that Israel is trying to turn the whole city Jewish and eventually drive the Palestinians out.
Hagit Ofran of the Israeli anti-settlement Peace Now group, said the project "harms the chances of getting to a peace agreement in Jerusalem."
Jerusalem municipal spokesman Elie Isaacson said the construction is a normal part of the city's development.
"We approve building all over the city for people of all denominations," Isaacson said. "There is no (construction) freeze in Jerusalem."
Three weeks after Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed in September, a 10-month Israeli freeze on new construction in West Bank settlements expired, and Israel refused to renew it. Israel also captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians claim the territories for a future state.
Palestinians say they will not return to the direct talks unless Israel extends the moratorium and applies it to East Jerusalem as well. Israel refused, and as a result of the deadlock, Washington abandoned efforts to restart the direct talks and has begun a new round of mediated talks instead.
With negotiations in disarray, Palestinian leaders have raised the idea of making a unilateral declaration of statehood.
But Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Wednesday such a move would not bring a state closer.
Fayyad has been working on building institutions for a state that could function regardless of the outcome of peace talks with Israel.
http://bit.ly/hEqyjS 30 sep 2011, 14:50 , Respect
Maria 17 dec 2010
A Group of Religious Israelis & Military Enter Palestinian Village at Midnight
On Friday morning, a group of religious Israeli Jews entered in the village of Kifl Haris, in the central West Bank. Local sources estimated some 3,000 people arrived, accompanied by dozens of Israeli military vehicles, Ma'an News reported.
Locals said that the group of visitors were settlers, many of them from settlements in the occupied West Bank, who came to visit a tomb in the village, which according to the Jewish religion, is the place where Joshua ben Nun, leader of early Jewish tribes, and Calev ben Yefuneh are buried. Villagers say the tomb belongs to a local Sheikh.
An Israeli military spokeswoman informed that there were 800 visitors who stayed in the area from midnight to 5 a.m.
She also added that the visit went off "without incident," although local sources reported that the Israeli army set up checkpoints and barricades around the tomb.
In a report by the Israeli news site Ynet, the visitors stated that they found the tomb "desecrated" by Arabic graffiti with slogans like "we are the defenders of the national project" and "conciliation, speak to you enemy through bullets," Ma'an News quoted.
PA settlement observer says gov't confiscated car
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian official in charge of the settlement file in the northern West Bank Ghassan Daghlas said Friday that a government decision would see his official vehicle confiscated.
Daghlas, who monitors and reports on settler violence, settlement expansions and related tensions, said the decision followed a cabinet decision pushed through by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an effort to cut government costs.
The legislation, enacted in the early fall, caused outrage amongst government officials, who were told that low-level civil servants would not longer be provided with government vehicles.
The officials said he would be unable to continue his work without the vehicle, since settlements located next to villages outside the city of Nablus were inaccessible and he would no longer be able to travel to the regions and report incidents.
Daghlas said he was informed on Thursday that his efforts to appeal the decision were denied.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=342901 3 oct 2011, 07:12 , Respect
Maria 18 dec 2010
Farmer: Settlers burned my sheep alive
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A farmer said he watched a group of settlers in the northern West Bank gather his sheep and set them on fire Saturday afternoon.
When he returned to the area, he told officials, he found 12 sheep burned alive, five with severe burns and two others that were only lightly burned. "I've lost at least $12,000," he said, calling the act abominable.
Mayor of Aqraba, the village near where the attack took place, Jawdat Bani Jabir, identified the farmer as 40-year-old Samir Muhammad Bani Fadl.
Fadil said he was out pasturing his sheep in the eastern part of the village when a group of armed settlers approached him in a white car and asked him to come and speak with them. Feeling threatened, in an area where rights organizations recorded a ballooning number of settler attacks and vandalism during the month of October, Fadil fled and watched the group from an adjacent hill.
According to the farmer's testimony, the settlers gathered all the sheep into an area thick with brush, and set fire to the bushes.
Mayor Jabir called the attack vicious, and blamed the residents of the settlements encircling the area: Maale Efraym, Itamar, and Hetzit.
"Fadil has nine daughters who depend on him and he has sustained a deep loss today," the mayor said, calling for an inquiry into the incident.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of following up with settlement activities in the northern West Bank, condemned the attack demanding pressure on Israel by the international community to quell settler violence.
3,000 Jewish settlers intrude on Palestinian town to visit alleged holy sites
SALIT, (PIC)-- A 3,000-man mob of Jewish settlers guarded by Israeli troops raided Friday morning the town of Kifl Haris near Salfit for a regular visit to shrines alleged to be located there, eyewitnesses reported.
Jewish settlers claim the village is the site of three religious shrines, one of them tracing back to biblical figure Joshua Ben Nun.
Israeli troops were sighted deploying in the village alleys and on the housetops in an attempt to suppress locals.
The villagers have questioned Jewish claims to shrines existing in the town. Kifl Haris has been the center of monthly raids by Jewish settlers under the same claim. The raids have impaired everyday life for villagers and created an environment of tension.
In a separate development, two Palestinian boys from the Jenin village of Kafr Rai were severely beaten later Friday night by Jewish settlers while passing through farmland near the Mabo Dotan settlement founded on the region.
The boys were first abused and then dragged into the Jewish settlement, witnesses said. They were freed after several hours of torture in poor medical condition. All wounds were superficial.
Settlers Destroy Farms and Trees Near Nablus, Unleash Dog on 66-year-old
(archive) Nablus PNN - In an overnight attack, Israeli settlers destroyed farmland and cut down trees on the outskirts of Tel village, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
official in charge of the settler attacks file, Ghassan Douglas, said, The settlers attacked producing farmland and destroyed it under the cover of darkness.
Douglas also said the settlers cut down grape and almond trees in the same area, south of Tel.
The extremist settlers came from the Hafat Gilead settlement, said Douglas, which is considered a den of extremists launching attacks in the past month against surrounding villages.
Meanwhile on Saturday, the Palestine Liberation Organzation (PLO) National Office to Defend Land and Resist Settlement released a report entitled Forced Commerce in Jerusalem that said two residential buildings in Jerusalem had been demolished by Israeli forces in the past week.
The report also said that settlers released a dog on 66-year-old Nabil al-Kurd during a confrontation near his home, constituting physical maltreatment.
The report accused Israeli municipality authorities of Judaizing Jerusalem by expelling local Palestinian families and demolishing two homes one in the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood and another in Sour Baher. In both cases, the Israeli authorities cited lack of license.
Settlers accused of felling trees near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers from Givat Gilad settlement were accused Saturday of entering the agricultural lands of two farmer and felling fruit trees in a small field.
Reporting the incident was Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority official charged with cataloging settler vandalism and violence, who said the farmland was next to the village of Tell, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
The field, Daghlas told Ma'an, was planted with fruit trees and vegetables.
8 oct 2011, 12:06 , Respect
Maria 23 dec 2010
Israeli settlers building 100 illegal homes: NGO
JERUSALEM Israeli settlers have illegally begun work on at least 100 homes in the occupied West Bank since the end of a freeze on settlement construction, Israel`s Peace Now movement said on Thursday.
"Since the end of the settlement freeze at the end of September, at least 100 buildings are now under construction in the West Bank," Peace Now`s secretary general Yariv Oppenheimer told AFP.
In November 2009, Israel`s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implemented a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, but he refused to renew the ban after it expired on September 26, despite intense international pressure.
"The illegal building being carried out without the necessary permits from the authorities is taking place both in existing settlements and outposts," Oppenheimer said.
"If an Israeli built under the same circumstances in Tel Aviv for example, it would all be destroyed on the spot and he would brought to justice."
A military spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to comment on Peace`s Now`s figures.
"We have applied the law against illegal building in Judea and Samaria all year, and we will continue to do so," he told AFP, using the biblical name for the West Bank.
Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, a leading settler organisation, told military radio he could neither confirm nor deny Peace Now`s figures.
"But we have to keep the big picture in mind, because the real scandal is the failure of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, since he took office in March 2009, to issue a single call for tenders for legal construction of houses in Judea and Samaria," he said.
"The government is strangling the settlements," he added, pointing out that Netanyahu approved at least 4,600 tenders for West Bank settlements during his last term between 1996 and 1999.
And in the two-year government headed by Labour politician Ehud Barak, from 1999 to 2001, some 4,900 homes were approved for construction in West Bank settlements, Dayan said.
But Oppenheimer said the lack of new tender offers was not holding back the expansion of settlements because there were at least 1,700 outstanding building permits for areas where construction has not yet started.
"The settlers who are boosting outpost construction want to benefit from the end of the settlement freeze to expand the facts on the ground," said Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now`s Settlement Watch project.
"They think that the government won`t actually do anything to stop them," she told AFP, adding Peace Now had submitted documents on the illegal building to the attorney general`s office, seeking a legal investigation.
Settlement construction on occupied land in the West Bank and Jerusalem remains one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and sunk the last round of direct talks between the two sides.
The negotiations, the first direct talks in nearly two years, began September 2 in Washington but ground to a halt after Netanyahu`s partial settlement freeze expired on September 26.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has said he will not return to talks unless Israel reimposes a building ban, and extends it to east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want for the capital of their future state.
Netanyahu resisted strong international pressure to renew the freeze, including a generous US package of incentives, forcing the United States to admit it had failed to secure a new ban.
More than 300,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, and another 200,000 live across east Jerusalem along with some 270,000 Palestinians.
9 oct 2011, 10:28 , Respect
Maria 23 dec 2010
Yitzhar settlers blamed for attack on farmers
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Officials from the northern West Bank village of Madama accused settlers from the neighboring Israeli colony of Yitzhar of attacking a group of farmers ploughing lands near the settlement fence on Thursday morning.
Hasan Zeyadeh, member of the Madma village council, said the farmers were on lands south of the village when a group of religious Jews approached them, throwing rocks and shouting abuses, and telling them to leave the area.
Farmers grew angry, he said, and thew stones back at the group of men, who eventually left the area.
Zeyadeh said it was the second incidence of settler violence in the area in 24 hours, adding that the night before a military jeep prevented farmers from reaching the same area of land the day before. When farmers returned in the evening, they found several olive trees uprooted.
23 dec 2010
If you Leave your house ITS MINE -- Israeli settlers stealing from muslims with israel police aid
(0:54) If you Leave your house ITS MINE -- Israeli settlers stealing from muslims with israel police aid 9 oct 2011, 15:39 , Respect
Maria 24 dec 2010
Settlers and IDF Attempt to Steal Old Village Mosque, Beit Ommar, West Bank, Palestine
At 4am on the morning of Wednesday, December 16th 2010, a contingent of Israeli soldiers accompanied a group of settlers into the town of Beit Ommar. They woke up the guardian of the Old Mosque and demanded that he open the building for them. On entering the Old Mosque the settlers began taking photographs of the interior.
The guardian was told that the settlers wish to partition the mosque and use their half for prayers three times a week, claiming that the building holds special religious significance for them.
The residents of Beit Ommar strongly oppose this move for several reasons. The mosque, which is around 800 years old, is located in the old quarter of the town. It is still used by residents for prayers and it forms an important part of the town's historical, cultural and religious heritage.
Beit Ommar is designated as Area B, and therefore under Palestinian control. The town, with a population of around 17,000 inhabitants, fears that use of this holy building will cause further tension between the residents of Beit Ommar and the settlers from Karmei Tsur, with whom the relationship is already strained due to the settlement's encroachments onto nearby land belonging to local farmers. Residents suspect that the settlers provocative and arguable claim over the Old Mosque of Beit Ommar could form a pretext for further unjustifiable land grabs.
"Four days prior to the shooting of this video, on December 14th, 2010, thirty Israeli Defense Force soldiers and one settler from the Karmei Tsur settlement came to the old village mosque in Beit Ommar and declared that one half of it would now be for use by settlers in their Jewish prayers.
The people of the village responded that if this were to be enforced then the IDF and the settlers would have a big fight on their hands. Neither the IDF nor any settlers have returned to this mosque since. Separately, settlers have also expressed interest in another old mosque in the area. Mousa Abu Maria of the Palestine Solidarity Project walks through the Beit Ommar mosque and explains: video http://bit.ly/fSWffD
http://bit.ly/eHqcmA 10 oct 2011, 10:48 , Respect
Maria 27 dec 2010
Settlers torch fields near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Local officials in Madama village, south of Nablus, said Monday that dozens Israeli settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement were behind the torching of agricultural lands and an attack on a farmer.
Village council member Hasan Ziyada said locals counted 37 settlers in all, in four separate groups, harassing farmers in the Ein Ash-Sha'ira area to the south of the village.
Farmers argued with the settlers, the official said, after which one of the groups set fire to fields and fled.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=345879 15 oct 2011, 11:43 , Respect
Maria 28 dec 2010
Israeli Settlers set fire to a house-tent in the Palestinian village of Susi
(2:02) Israeli Settlers set fire to a house-tent in the Palestinian village of Susiya
Settlers seize Palestinian land in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Dozens of settlers took over 60 dunums of Palestinian land in the Nablus district on Tuesday, Palestinian Authority official Ghassan Doughlas said.
Doughlas, who holds the settlements file for the northern West Bank, said settlers erected fences around the land and began digging. The land belongs to Jalud village, which is surrounded by four illegal settlements.
The Israeli news site Ynet reported Thursday that "settlements are growing at an almost unprecedented pace" since the expiry of a partial building freeze on September 26.
Doughlas said the construction boom was a "blow to the American administration" and the international community, flying in the face of peace efforts.
Peace negotiations, relaunched in Washington on September 2, fell apart within weeks over Israel's refusal to extend the partial freeze.
Palestinian negotiators refused US requests to continue negotiations via American mediators, saying they would not resume talks until Israel made a "substantial" move toward a peace deal, an offer that would have to include an end to settlement construction.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=346163 18 oct 2011, 09:05 , Respect
Maria 29 dec 2010
Jewish settlers desecrate mosque
NAZARETH, (PIC)-- Jewish settlers attacked and desecrated a mosque in Rubin village near Ramle city in 1948 occupied Palestine in an attempt to change it into a Jewish synagogue, the Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage said.
It added in a press release on Tuesday that the fanatic Jews broke into the mosque through one of its doors and destroyed part of the wall before entering and writing racist slurs on its walls and drew the Star of David on the mosque's dome with the word Judaism written inside it in English.
The foundation said that the Jews had candles and other tools with them and offered Jewish rituals in yet another attempt to seize control of the mosque and turn it into a synagogue.
http://bit.ly/fDtTKb 20 oct 2011, 17:33 , Respect
Maria 30 dec 2010
Rotim Settlers Seize Land Near Tubas; Minister Arrested in Hebron
Tubas PNN - A group of settlers from the Rotim settlement, built near the northern West Bank town of Tubas, seized at least 30 dunums of Palestinian land on Thursday.
Aref Dharaghmeh, a local official, said the settlers came in the middle of the night from Rotim nearby Tubas and seized the 30 dunums (about 7 acres). At least one settler was seen plowing the land.
Dharaghmeh called on human rights organizations and the Ministry of Agriculture to stand by Palestinian citizens and help them regain their land.
The owner of the land in question were Hussein Salim Abu Muhsin, his brother Hassan, Raziq Abu zeit, and Ahmed Abu Talib.
Meanwhile in the southern West Bank, a member of the Palestinian Legsislative council was arrested in his home in Yatta, a village south of Hebron. According to media spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Fanar, Israeli forces broke down the door and windows of Khalil Ruba'i, 52, before taking him to an unidentified location.
30 dec 2010
IOF soldiers detain six Palestinians, settlers attack farmers
WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces rounded up six Palestinian citizens in various areas of the West Bank at dawn Thursday at the pretext of being wanted for interrogation.
Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot said on its website that the arrests were made in Bethlehem and Tulkarem on suspicion of involvement in anti-occupation activity.
On Wednesday, Jewish settlers from Yitzhar settlement attacked Palestinian farmers and tried to start fire in their fields in Assira Al-Qabalia, south of Nablus city.
Local sources said that Palestinian youths confronted the settlers and prevented them from starting fire.
http://bit.ly/f5W8Zf 21 oct 2011, 17:12 , Respect
Maria 31 dec 2010
Jewish settlers confiscate Palestinian land in Toubas
TOUBAS, (PIC)-- A group of extremist Jewish settlers in the northern West Bank district of Toubas confiscated vast areas of Palestinian-owned land around the Rotim settlement.
Palestinian eyewitnesses said on Thursday that dozens of settlers raided on Wednesday night lands adjacent to the Rotim and confiscated about 30 dunums (1 dunum= 100sq meters), one of the settlers even started ploughing the land.
Aref Daragmeh, local head of Bedouin council said that the confiscated land belonged to four Palestinian citizens, two of them from the same family.
He called on human rights organisations to help Palestinians protect their land.
31 dec 2010
Settlers to Receive 3,160 Shekels Each for "Security Expenses" in 2011
Tel Aviv PNN - The Israeli Knesset approved its 2011-2012 budget on Wednesday, including two billion shekels for settlement services and security, or 3,160 shekels ($885) for each settler in the West Bank.
Israeli online newspaper Ha'aretz reported on Friday that at least 200 new residential units will be marketed in both the settlements of Ma'ale Adumim, west of Jerusalem, and Har Homa to the city's south. Har Homa lies directly across from the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem and has been the site of controversial illegal settlement building since 1997. A total of 238 million shekels will be spent on Har Homa by 2012.
The number of settlements in the West Bank, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, is 120. The World Zionist Organization says it supports a total of 136. There are half a million settlers living in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. All settlements beyond the 1949 Green Line are illegal under internatnioal law.
As for budget allotments tied to settlements but not allocated for residential units, Israel plans to spend NIS (New Israeli Shekel) 180 million on the road between the Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev and Tel Aviv, which human rights group Peace Now called a clear obstacle to peace, as well as NIS 22 million to compensate for the loss of settlement exports to the European Union. The EU no longer accepts settlement exports.
The Israel government plans to protect settler schoolbuses to the cost of NIS 31 million and other buses for NIS 10 million. Individual settlers can ask for personal vehicle protection at the state's expense at least NIS 630 is expected to be used for these allotments.
31 dec 2010
Bourini: International silence encourages settlers assaults
AL-KHALIL, (PIC) Husni al-Bourini, MP for the district of Nablus, expressed concern over the escalation in settlers attacks against Palestinians, the latest of which was on Wednesday night when settlers stoned Palestinian cars travelling on the road that links the northern to the central West Bank near the Shilo and Eli settlements.
He said in a written statement on Thursday that the international official silence constitutes a cover for the settlers attacks and helps their repetition, warning of the dangers the settlers pose to the roads and villages close to the settlements were settlers attacks take place daily.
He called on the Fatah authority to play a role in confronting these Zionist excesses by stopping its war against the resistance, so that the resistance could defend the Palestinian people.