Skip to main content
Menu
From the field
Topics

While millions of people in Israel and the West Bank are under lockdown, state-backed settler violence continues unabated. Settlers are attacking Palestinian shepherds in pastureland and entering villages, attacking residents and destroying their property. Despite the coronavirus crisis, the escalated violence has continued in recent weeks.

June 2021

28
Olive seedlings broken by the settlers. Photo courtesy of grove owner
Olive seedlings broken by the settlers. Photo courtesy of grove owner

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers destroy approx. 125 olive seedlings and steal farming equipment

On 28 June 2021, a village resident discovered that settlers had broken some 125 olive seedlings he was about to plant, and a number of five-year-old trees on his land south of the village. The settlers also stole power cords and a water pump from the plot.

The residents of Jalud have been suffering from repeated attacks by settlers, who assault them and damage their property.

May 2021

16
An olive grove the settlers burned down. Photo courtesy of the village council
An olive grove the settlers burned down. Photo courtesy of the village council

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers saw off neighborhood utility pole for the third time

On 16 May 2021, residents of the southeastern neighborhood of Jalud discovered that settlers had, for the third time, sawn off a utility pole installed by the village council and the Palestinian Electric company to supply electricity to neighborhood homes. The settlers also set fire to a nearby olive grove.

Settlers first uprooted a utility pole installed on the spot on 15 October 2020. On 3 April 2021, while workers were installing a new pole, settlers showed up again, some of them masked, sawed off the pole and attacked Walid Shweiki (71) after the workers fled.

The utility pole the settlers sawed off and burned. Photo courtesy of the village council
The utility pole the settlers sawed off and burned. Photo courtesy of the village council

 

2
Window in Qusrah home shattered by settlers. Photo courtesy of the residents
Window in Qusrah home shattered by settlers. Photo courtesy of the residents

Qusrah and Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers escorted by soldiers attack Palestinian homes and cars. Soldiers arrest Jalud residents throwing stones to drive settlers away, on grounds that a stone hit a soldier

On the night of 2 May 2021, dozens of settlers, escorted by soldiers, attacked the eastern neighborhood of the village of Jalud, throwing stones at homes and at parked cars. They shattered the windows of three cars. After residents came out to defend their homes and tried to drive the settlers away by throwing stones, soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters at them. Security forces arrested 11 village residents on the pretext that a stone had hit one of the soldiers. The detainees were held overnight at the Binyamin police station and released the following evening.

Later on the same night, settlers attacked the southeastern neighborhood of the nearby village of Qusrah. They hurled stones at homes and in one, shattered several windows, damaged seedlings in the garden and broke the outdoor lighting.

Residents of Jalud and Qusrah have been suffering from repeated settler attacks for years. The settlement outposts of Ahiya and Esh Kodesh were established near the two villages.

April 2021

15
The construction site where Hisham Hamud is building his home, after the settlers' invasion, Jalud, 15 Apr. 2021. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B'Tselem
The construction site where Hisham Hamud is building his home, after the settlers' invasion, Jalud, 15 Apr. 2021. Photo by Abdulkarim Sadi, B'Tselem

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers invade home under construction, steal equipment and damage structure

On the morning of 15 April 2021, Hisham Hamud (30), a married father of one, discovered that settlers had invaded the building site of his home in the southern part of the village. The settlers stole a cement mixer, damaged equipment and tools, and vandalized the walls of the house and the fence around it. They also broke and uprooted some 15 olive, citrus and almond saplings Hamud had planted a month earlier. Hamud estimates the damage to his property at about NIS 10,000 (~3,080 USD).

This is the sixth time B’Tselem has documented damage by settlers to residents of Jalud or to their property in 2021. The settlements of Shilo and Shvut Rachel and the outposts of Ahiya and Esh Kodesh were established about a kilometer from the village. Ahiya was established several hundred meters east of Hamud’s home.  

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi, Hisham Hamud described the damage the settlers caused him:

In early March 2021, we started building our home on a plot belonging to my family. The plot is about two dunams large [1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters] and lies in the southern part of Jalud, in an area defined as Area B. I’m a construction worker, so I started building the house myself and was able to lay the foundations.

On Thursday morning, 15 April 2021, while the Israelis and the settlers were on holiday because of Independence Day, I went to the building site. When I got there, I was shocked to find it severely damaged. They’d vandalized equipment, tools and the support pillars I was building. The criminals probably came from the east, from the settler farm called “Ahiya” that was established east of my plot, because they broke through the barbed-wire fence I’d put up around the plot and cut a large opening in it from the east, in order to get into the construction site.

The last time I worked at the site, I made three pillars out of planks and fixed them to pour cement into them, but the criminals knocked them down and damaged all three. I was amazed to find a small electric cement mixer I use for construction gone. I bought two cement mixers for 2,200 shekels (~677 USD) just two months ago. I tied one with a chain and bolt to a tree trunk at the construction site, so they couldn’t steal it. Instead, they cut its power cord. The other cement mixer wasn’t locked because I couldn’t find another chain, and they stole it.

They emptied about 30 sacks of cement on the ground and poured about three cubic meters of water on it, making it completely unusable. They also broke the lock on an old refrigerator that I use to store work tools, and stole them. On top of that, they cut, uprooted and broke 15 citrus, almond and olive saplings I’d planted in early March in the garden of my future home.

Here in Jalud, we’re used to extremist settlers carrying out such attacks by now. I have no conflict with residents of the village or of other villages, and the site was fully surrounded by a barbed-wire fence a meter and a half tall. They left a 2.5-meter-wide breach on its eastern side, facing the “Ahiya” farm, which is about 300 meters away. When I was looking for the stolen equipment, I found tools on the road leading there.

I estimate the damage they caused me at almost 10,000 shekels. They did everything in the dark and no one saw them. I work all week in a settlement to support my family, and put some of the money into building this small house for us to live in. Since I got married about 10 years ago, we’ve lived in a rented house in the village.

3

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers with military escort uproot utility pole installed by Palestine Electric Company and attack village resident (71) with stones and club

On 15 October 2020, residents of Jalud discovered that settlers had cut down a utility pole installed by the village council to provide electricity to homes in the southeastern part of the village. One of the homes belongs to Walid Shweiki (71), a father of seven.

On 3 April 2021, workers from the Palestine Electric Company (PEC) came to the spot with council representatives and neighborhood residents in order to install a new pole. At around midday, several settlers arrived from the direction of the Esh Kodesh and Ahiya outposts, established several hundred meters away. The settlers told the residents that the land belongs to them. Some 15 minutes later, about 20 more masked settlers arrived, running. The residents and the PEC workers fled and the settlers attacked Shweiki, who remained alone.

Two soldiers who were escorting the settlers ordered Shweiki to leave and led him away. The settlers uprooted the utility pole and shattered the windshield of a resident’s car parked nearby.

The settlers thereby ensured, with military assistance, that Shweiki and his neighbors would be forced to continue living without electricity.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i, Walid Shweiki (71) recounted the attack:

While the laborers were working, several settlers came from the direction of the outpost, which is about 300 meters away. One of them said, “What are you doing here? This isn’t your land!” Then an argument developed over who owns the land. The settlers said it’s theirs and that our land is in Saudi Arabia. When they saw we were ignoring them and not leaving, one of them said, “Now we’ll bring more people to get you out of here.” I saw one of them talking on the phone.

After 10 or 15 minutes, I saw about 20 masked settlers running towards us from the east. The council head and the other residents ran away and I was left alone with the settlers. It was the first time I’d ever seen anything like it. I wanted to get away from there, too, but I’m elderly and can’t walk fast or run. The settlers ran towards me and started throwing stones at me. One of them hit me with a club and tried to knock me down, but I stayed standing. Another threw a large stone at me and I pushed it away with my hands.

There were two or three soldiers there, and one of them said to me, “Go on, get out of here.” I asked him, “Don’t you see what they’re doing?” He said, again, “Go on, get out of here.” Meanwhile, the settlers kept shouting and throwing stones at me and the soldiers did nothing to them. Two soldiers walked with me for about 60 meters until I was some way away from the settlers. Meanwhile, the settlers uprooted the utility pole and threw it on the ground in front of the soldiers.

I went home and shut the door and the windows. I was scared the settlers would come after me. Then I drove to my family, who were in Jerusalem. Since the settlers cut down the utility pole in October, I’ve had no electricity at home and it’s impossible to live there.

March 2021

2

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers again attack homes and damage parked cars

On the night of 2 March 2021, about five settlers entered the southern neighborhood of the village. They stoned two homes, smashed the windshields of two parked cars, and fled when residents came out of their homes to defend their property. This is not the first time settlers have attacked these homes. On 23 December 2020, dozens of masked settlers raided the village, threw stones at the two homes and smashed the windshields of three cars parked on the street.

The settlements of Shilo and Shvut Rachel and the outposts of Ahiya and Esh Kodesh were established about a kilometer from the village. Since October 2020, B’Tselem has documented seven cases in which settlers damaged residents’ property;this is the fifth published on our blog.

February 2021

24

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers invade livestock enclosure, damage it, and make off with eight lambs

On Wednesday morning, 24 February 2021, Hisham Hamud (62), a married father of nine, came to his livestock enclosure, which lies about 300 meters away from the village. Upon arrival, , he discovered that settlers had cut the barbed wire fence he stretched around the enclosure and stole eight lambs.

Over the past six months, B’Tselem has documented six settler attacks against residents of Jalud. This time, the damage caused to Hamud’s enclosure is estimated at 10,000 NIS (~3,032 USD).

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i, Hamud recounted the invasion and the theft:

When I came to the enclosure at around 4:15 A.M., I heard bleating and found one lamb walking around the olive trees. I was amazed that she got there because the enclosure is surrounded by barbed wire. I discovered that the barbed wire fence had been cut and that the enclosure itself had been damaged. I went in and found out that all eight of my lambs, who were born a few months ago, had been stolen. I called the head of the village council and told him what had happened. At around 8:00 A.M., representatives of the Palestinian police, the Palestinian DCO, and the Israeli police arrived, took my statement, and photographed the scene. They told me they’d update me on the investigation developments and asked me to file a complaint at the Binyamin police station. The next day, I went to the station and filed a complaint, and they again told me that they’d update me, but to this day, no one has gotten back to me.

My sheep cost me a lot of money, and I invested a lot of work in them. I always wait for Ramadan to sell them, and I expected to sell the lambs that were stolen for at least 10,000 shekels.

The settlement outpost of Ahiya was established about 300 meters away from Hamud’s livestock enclosure.

January 2021

6

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers uproot some 150 olive seedlings

On 6 January 2021, farmer Mahmoud Muhammad (30), discovered that settlers had uprooted some 150 olive seedlings he had planted about a month before.  

Muhammad’s plot of land lies east of Jalud. The settlement outpost of Ahiya was established in the late 1990s about 200 meters away from the plot. 

December 2020

23

Jalud, Nablus District: Dozens of masked settlers enter village and throw stones at homes and parked cars

Since 16-year-old Israeli Ahuvia Sandak died during a police chase near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar on 21 December 2020, the number of violent settler attacks against Palestinians has sharply risen throughout the West Bank.

On 23 December 2020, at around 10:00 P.M., about 30 masked settlers arrived at the southeastern neighborhood of Jalud, a village in Nablus District, and pelted homes and cars with stones. The settlers broke a security camera and the windows of three cars. Local residents chased them and they escaped towards the outpost of Ahiya. About half an hour later, five soldiers came to the village from the direction of the outpost. They spoke with locals and took photos of the damage done to the cars. In the meantime, the settlers returned and ignored the soldiers’ instructions to keep away. The soldiers called in Border Police forces, and when they arrived about 30 minutes later, the settlers again fled towards the outpost. The forces then left, and a military jeep was posted on the outskirts of the outpost. Village residents remained out in the street until the small hours of the night to protect their property, and then returned home.

Na'im Farah ‘Abbad, a 36-year-old married father of five from Jalud, spoke about the settler attack in a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb’i:

On Wednesday, 23 December 2020, I was visiting my parents with my wife Rana (28) and our children (eight months to 12) in the southeastern part of the village.

At around 10:00 P.M., we were sitting in their home chatting and drinking tea, when I heard noises outside. I went out and saw 10-15 settlers by my car. They took off when they saw me, and I discovered they’d broken all the windows. I heard my cousin Muhammad, who lives near my parents, yelling: “Settlers! Settlers are breaking cars!” I followed him with some other cousins of mine, and I saw about 30 settlers running towards the outpost of Ahiya. It looked like they’d split into two groups – one damaged my car, and the other damaged Muhammad’s car.

We ran after them but kept about a 200-meter distance, because we were scared they’d shoot us. They ran off, and we went back to our homes. Because of the yelling, all the residents of the neighborhood came out of their houses. When I got back, my wife was outside, too. She told me my mother had fainted, apparently from the stress and fear. She’s a diabetic and has high blood pressure. My brother Nassim and I drove her to hospital in Nablus, where they examined her and then released her.

Muhammad ‘Abbad (37), a married father of six from Jalud, also spoke about that night in a testimony he gave B'Tselem field researcher Salma a-Deb'i:

About half an hour after the attack, while we were still standing outside, about five or six soldiers came from the direction of the Ahiya outpost. They asked about what happened and took pictures of the cars. One of them spoke Arabic well, and they left soldiers in a military jeep around to keep watch.

While the soldiers were in the village, the settlers came back and got up to about 100 meters away from our houses. The soldiers yelled at them but didn’t stop them from approaching. They called a Border Police force, which came about half an hour later. It was only then that the settlers left. The soldiers and Border Police officers left the village and kept a military jeep on the outskirts of the outpost.

We stayed in the yard and didn’t go back inside until 3:00 A.M. It was cold and by then, I couldn’t see the jeep anymore. It must have driven off.

We’ve been on constant alert ever since that day, afraid of another attack. I can’t sleep at night. I’m worried they’ll surprise us and this time, torch the cars or one of the houses. Thank God the kids were asleep during the attack; otherwise, they would have been very frightened. I asked my wife not to let them play in the yard or in the village with other kids, like they usually do.

The outpost of Ahiya was established in 2015 about a kilometer away from Jalud.

October 2020

13
Settlers harvested olives on Fawzi Muhammad’s plot. Jalud, 13 Oct. 2020. Photo by a witness to the incident.
Settlers harvested olives on Fawzi Muhammad’s plot. Jalud, 13 Oct. 2020. Photo by a witness to the incident.

Jalud, Nablus District: Settlers harvest olive trees belonging to village resident and steal the fruit

On Tuesday morning, 13 October 2020, a shepherd noticed settlers harvesting olives on land belonging to resident Fawzi Muhammad in the southern part of the village. When the settlers saw the shepherd, they fled, taking the olives with them. The shepherd notified the landowner and reported the incident to the village council.

Later that day, a lawyer contacted the Israeli DCO on Fawzi’s behalf. Several hours later, a DCO representative updated him that the stolen olives had been located and that he was welcome to pick them up from the settlement of Beit El. Fawzi drove to Beit El the next day and retrieved the stolen loot: 20 kilos of olives.

The settlement outpost of Ahiya was established in 1998 about 300 meters from the plot.

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.