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Shooting, assaulting, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at cars and homes, raiding villages, torching structures and fields, vandalizing property and crops: settlers exercise harsh daily violence against Palestinians, with state support, to drive them out of their land. Launched in early 2020, this blog gives voice to the people exposed to this violence. Background on the topic

September 2021

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al-Mufaqarah, Masafer Yatta: Another expulsion attempt - Settlers raid Kh. al-Mufaqarah, attack villagers, crack toddler’s skull, and cause heavy property damage

On 29 Aug. 2021, dozens of settlers raided the community of al-Mufaqarah, stoned residents and homes, and damaged property. The attack, one of the most severe recalled by residents, injured several villagers, including a toddler whose skull was fractured. Soldiers who came to the scene fired tear gas canisters at community residents, many of whom suffered gas inhalation. Only after an hour did the settlers leave the area and move to the nearby village of a-Tuwani, where they attacked a house with stones and injured residents trying to defend it. In the past year, settler attacks in Safar Yatta have intensified, as part of Israel's policy of expelling Palestinians and taking over their lands. Read more. View photo blog

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Faraj Tamimi (a-Zaru) after his release. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B’Tselem
Faraj Tamimi (a-Zaru) after his release. Photo by Manal al-Ja’bari, B’Tselem

Central Hebron: Soldiers attack Palestinians complaining of settler violence and arrest one for allegedly assaulting them

On 25 Sep. 2020, settler teens attacked members of the Tamimi family on the family’s land in Hebron. Relatives notified soldiers at a nearby military post, only to be attacked by them. One was arrested, taken to a military base, beaten again, questioned by the police – only after the soldiers – accused of assaulting soldiers and throwing stones, and released on bail. Yet another day under occupation: leisure time ending in fleeing violent teens, and complaining to soldiers ending in severe violence, false arrest and paying hundreds of dollars. Read more 

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Some of the olive trees cut down by the settlers
Some of the olive trees cut down by the settlers

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers cut down 27 olive trees

On 22 September 2021, farmers from the village of Burin discovered that settlers had uprooted 27 olive trees on their land, which lies on the southern side of the village. The settlement of Yitzhar was established about 300 meters away from the spot, and settlers put up a tent nearby several few months ago.  

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One of the trees uprooted by the settlers
One of the trees uprooted by the settlers

Sinjil, Ramallah District: Settlers uproot seven young olive trees

On 11 November 2021, a village resident discovered that settlers had uprooted seven three-year-old olive trees on his land. The settlement outpost of Haro’eh was established in 2002 north of the site.  

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers stone home and break olive tree branches; Soldiers escorting them stand by

On 11 September 2021, at around 4:00 P.M., about 20 settlers stoned the Soufan family on the southern side of the village of Burin while several soldiers and a settlement security guard stood by. The settlers smashed the solar panels of a sun boiler on the roof of the house, a water container and the windshield of a car belonging to one of the villagers. During their retreat, the settlers broke the branches of 17 olive trees tens of meters from the attacked home.

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Kisan, Bethlehem District: Settlers vandalize some 70 young olive trees

On 10 September 2021, a village resident discovered that settlers had damaged about 70 five-year-old trees in his olive grove, which consists of some 100 trees and lies west of the village. The settlement outpost of Ibei Hanahal was established on 1999 close to the plot.

Settlers attack homes, one with live fire; soldiers shoot at Palestinians trying to defend their property

On 10 Sep. 2021, settlers escorted by soldiers threw stones at ‘Abd al-Jawad and Maha al-Ja’bari’s home in Hebron. When Palestinians threw stones to fend them off, a soldier opened fire at the Palestinians, who fled. The soldiers entered the house and another one to search for the Palestinians, while doing nothing to stop the settlers’ ongoing assault. When the settlers returned to Kiryat Arba, one of them passed by the Abu S’eifan family’s home and fired several live shots at it. Read more

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Jaber neighborhood, central Hebron: Settlers attack homes and residents with stones; soldiers fire at residents

On 9 September 2021, at around 2:00 A.M., several settlers entered a lot where residents of the Jaber neighborhood are forced to park their cars, on the other side of the Jaber Checkpoint in central Hebron. The settlers encountered neighborhood residents, who have been taking turns guarding their cars since settlers vandalized nine of them on 14 August 2021. The residents called other neighbors to help protect the cars, and the settlers began throwing stones at neighborhood homes and at the residents, who threw stones back. Soldiers who arrived from the checkpoint fired live ammunition and hurled stun grenades at the Palestinians in order to drive them away. The settlers' attack lasted about half an hour, after which they left the neighborhood without having managed to damage the cars.

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Fidaa ‘Ataya where the art workshop once stood. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 13 Sep. 2021
Fidaa ‘Ataya where the art workshop once stood. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 13 Sep. 2021

Kafr Ni’ma, Ramallah District: Settlers dismantle open-air art workshop and steal equipment

On 6 September 2021, Fidaa ‘Ataya (34) discovered that settlers had stolen all the equipment from the open-air art workshop she had set up on her family’s land, north of the village. ‘Ataya set up the workshop about four months ago and has since been harassed four times by settlers.

She filed a complaint with the Israel Police every time. Among the objects stolen by the settlers were children’s books, movies, toys, kitchen utensils, musical instruments, water containers and art supplies. A few years ago, an outpost was established about 200 meters from the site. Since then, area residents have been suffering harassment by settlers.

In a testimony she gave B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad, ‘Ataya recounted: 

About four months ago, I set up an art workshop on our land. In my artwork, I recycle materials to make them aesthetically pleasing while preserving the environment. I set up a children’s library, a dressing room and a stage there, allowing people to experiment with theater, art and film. I used various objects, including natural materials I found on the land, put up a shed and planted trees and other plants. The whole time, I suffered from provocations by settlers. I filed four complaints with the Israeli police. But on 6 September 2021, when I went to the workshop at 6:00 P.M. to water the trees and work on my art, I saw from afar that the sign had disappeared. When I got closer, I discovered the area had been emptied of all the artwork, materials and tools. They left nothing. Village residents later reported they’d seen settlers near the workshop the night before.    

When I saw the place empty, I lost it. Four months of work – down the drain. I know the settlers are trying to drive us out of the land, but I have no intention of giving up. 

חלק מסדנת האמנות לפני שפורקה. התמונה באדיבות העדה
Part of the art workshop before it was dismantled. Photo courtesy of the witness 

August 2021

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Jaber neighborhood, central Hebron: Soldiers fire live ammunition to protect settlers vandalizing nine cars in Hebron

On 29 Aug. 2021, settlers stoned homes in the Jaber neighborhood of Hebron in front of soldiers, injuring a Palestinian in the head and vandalizing nine cars. When the residents tried to fend off the settlers by throwing stones, soldiers opened live fire. Police arrived at the scene only after the settlers left, and despite the presence of military security cameras, demanded proof that settlers had caused the damage. This incident reflects Israeli policy, which utilizes settler violence as a tool for expelling Palestinians from their homes. Read more

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Some of the samplings cut by settlers
Some of the samplings cut by settlers

Tarqumya, Hebron District: Settlers cut down some 300 olive and vine saplings

On 27 August 2021, farmers from the village went to their plots and discovered settlers had cut down some 300 olive and vine saplings there. The settlement of Adora was established in 1982 about 250 meters away from the land.

Kafr Ni’ma, Ramallah District: Setters harass picnicking family and falsely accuse them

On 27 August 2021, at around 5:00 P.M., a family from Kafr Ni’ma were picnicking on their land north of the village. While they were enjoying their meal, two settlers on an ATV arrived and began harassing and taunting them. One of the settlers filmed the women, who were without head scarves, and insisted on violating their privacy even after a family member explained it was unacceptable. The settlers summoned soldiers to the scene and claimed that one of the family members had attacked them. After an argument, the soldiers began to drive the settlers away and eventually left the area themselves.

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Tareq Zbeidi in his home. Photo by Oren Ziv, Activestills, 25 Aug. 2021
Tareq Zbeidi in his home. Photo by Oren Ziv, Activestills, 25 Aug. 2021

Silat a-Daher, Jenin District: Running over, tying to moving car, hanging on tree, pepper-spraying, kicking, burning feet: Settlers abduct 15-year-old and abuse him until he loses consciousness

On 17 August 2021, teens from Silat a-Daher in Jenin District set out to picnic on village land. Settlers who came to the scene grabbed one of them, knocked him down with their car and tied him to it with an iron chain, and then drove to the former site of the settlement of Homesh, where they abused him until he lost consciousness. They beat and kicked him, hung him in the air, cut his feet and burned them, and pepper-sprayed him in the eyes. After he lost consciousness, he was handed over to soldiers, who passed him on to family members. Read more

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Jihad a-Najar in the ambulance. Courtesy of family.
Jihad a-Najar in the ambulance. Courtesy of family.

Wadi al-Hussein, central Hebron: Settlers chasing Palestinian children attack woman sheltering them; soldiers ignore the assault

On 14 August 2021, at around 4:00 P.M., about 10 Palestinian children between the ages of 6 and 12 came to the home of Jihad and Jamal a-Najar in the Wadi al-Hussein neighborhood in central Hebron, seeking refuge from a settler who was chasing them. A fence separates the neighborhood from the adjacent settlement of Kiryat Arba. The couple took the children inside and Jamal stopped the settler from coming in after them. After trying to enter other homes and threatening the couple with a stone, the settler left and headed towards Kiryat Arba. A few minutes later, he returned with three other settlers. One of them pushed Jihad, who had come outside to film what was happening, hit the camera she was holding and punched her in the chest.

Soldiers who came to the scene ignored Jihad’s report she had been attacked and tried to break into the house in search of the children. After Jihad felt chest pain and had difficulty breathing, her husband called a Red Crescent ambulance that took her to ‘Alia hospital in Hebron. The soldiers and settlers left the scene, and Jihad was examined at the hospital and discharged several hours later.

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Central Hebron: Settler and soldier violence and police harassment of Palestinian family who dares to complain

On 6 Aug. 2021, Around midnight, settlers stoned Palestinian homes in front of soldiers. The residents called the Israel Police, and officers and other soldiers arrived. The stone-throwing ceased, following which the soldiers came to a family’s home and attacked two young occupants, aged 17 and 19, - beating and arresting them with severe violence. The elder son lost consciousness from the force of the blows. Police twice summoned the younger son – a minor – for questioning, but when he arrived, he was told he was not needed and sent home. Read more

July 2021

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The utility pole cut down by settlers. Photo courtesy of the family
The utility pole cut down by settlers. Photo courtesy of the family

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers break utility pole on southern side of village

On 30 June 2021, members of the Soufan family discovered that settlers had cut down a utility pole about 50 meters away from their house on the south side of the village. Due to the felling of the pole, the family’s telephone line was cut off 

About two weeks earlier, settlers stoned the family’s home, smashed a sun boiler on the roof and broke a streetlight and several branches in a nearby plot belonging to one of the villagers 

Residents of Burin, next to which the settlements of Har Bracha and Yitzhar were established, have been suffering from repeated settler attacks for years.

Spikes scattered by settlers on Musa’s plot. Photo courtesy of landowner
Spikes scattered by settlers on Musa’s plot. Photo courtesy of landowner

Qaryut, Nablus District: Settlers scatter spikes on land of villager, puncturing his car

On 30 July 2021, while Rami Musa (40) was driving his car in his plot, one of his car tires was punctured by spikes settlers had scattered there.  

The settlement of Shvut Rachel was established about a kilometer away from Musa’s plot. On 6 June 2021, settlers broke about 80 three-year-old olive and other fruit trees seedlings in his land.

B’Tselem has documented other cases in which settlers scattered spikes to damage Palestinian vehicles. 

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Paramedics treating Mufdi Rab’i, who was lightly injured in the head by a stone thrown by settlers. Photo by Youth of Sumud
Paramedics treating Mufdi Rab’i, who was lightly injured in the head by a stone thrown by settlers. Photo by Youth of Sumud

A-Tuwani, Masafer Yatta: Settlers stone Palestinian home, injuring resident lightly in the head

On Saturday afternoon, 24 July 2021, settlers arrived with a military escort from the direction of the Givat Ma’on outpost and stoned the home of the Rab’i family in the village. One member of the family was injured lightly in the head and was treated on the spot by a Palestinian Red Crescent crew who were called to the village. Only after village residents gathered near the home and tried to fend off the settlers by throwing stones, did the soldiers drive them away while firing tear gas at the residents.

The residents of a-Tuwani, like other communities in the Masafer Yatta area, are repeatedly attacked by settlers and soldiers as part of Israel’s routine harassment of Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills, and in Masafer Yatta in particular, in its bid to expel them from their homes and area of residence.

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The slogan graffitied by the settlers on the water container. Photo courtesy of landowner.
The slogan graffitied by the settlers on the water container. Photo courtesy of landowner.

Qusrah, Nablus District: Settlers break approx. 25 young fruit trees and vandalize property

On 23 July 2021, settlers invaded a plot belonging to Lafy Ziad (60) on the southeastern side of the village, broke about 25 olive, citrus and almond trees, damaged a 50-meter-long metal net, and graffitied the slogan “Price tag” on a water tank.

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Burned machines in the stone mill. Photo by Salma a-Deb’i, B’Tselem, 25 July 2021
Burned machines in the stone mill. Photo by Salma a-Deb’i, B’Tselem, 25 July 2021

Huwarah, Nablus District: Settlers torch stone-cutting machines and forklift in stone mill; Mill owner captures one perpetrator and hands him over to military

On 22 July 2021, at around 3:00 A.M., several settlers arrived at the southern part of the town and set fire to three stone-cutting machines and a forklift in a stone mill owned by the Dmeidi family. One of the mill owners, ‘Issam Dmeidi (45), who came to the mill after learning of the attack, saw the settlers flee in their car and drove after them. During the chase, the settlers’ car crashed into a kiosk on the town’s main street. Three settlers got out, and two of them, who were holding wooden sticks, fled the scene. Dmeidi managed to catch the third settler, waited for about 40 minutes along with other residents until the military arrived, and handed the settler over to the soldiers. Police officers who came to the mill inspected the damage and collected footage from security cameras in the area. The damage caused to the mill owners is estimated at hundreds of thousands of shekels.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i on 25 July 2021, ‘Issam Dmeidi (45), a married father of six, recounted the settlers’ attack on the mill:

At around 3:00 A.M., I got a call from a town resident who told me that smoke was rising from our mill. I drove there, and when I arrived, I saw fire in several places. The settlers torched three stone-cutting machines and our large forklift. I couldn’t believe my eyes.   

Suddenly, I saw a car driving towards the Ariel settlement. It passed by me quickly. Without thinking, I got into my car and drove after it. I drove fast until I got close to the main street of Huwarah, and then I saw the settlers’ car crashing into a metal container near the bakery and the supermarket and then into the kiosk near the bakery.  

I passed their car and stopped. I got out and saw three settlers getting out of the car. Two of them were holding sticks and running towards the olive groves, but I managed to catch the driver.  

I called over some people who passed by there, and meanwhile, my brother and several relatives also came. A town resident who speaks Hebrew asked the settler where he was from, and he answered that he was from the Bracha settlement. I held the settler until soldiers arrived about 40 minutes later. They called an ambulance for him because he was injured in the collision of the car. Then a force of police and soldiers arrived and collected footage from the bakery’s security cameras. Afterwards, they came to the mill and inspected the site. The insurance company doesn’t recognize damage caused by settlers, and there’s no one to compensate us. Now we’re working with one machine instead of the four we had. It’ll cause us very heavy losses. We have customers waiting for their orders. My father started the mill 38 years ago, and we employ about 70 workers who support families. We’ve worked very hard to keep our business going and develop it over the years.

EU

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of B'Tselem and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.