Skip to main content
Menu
From the field
Topics

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

October 2021

24
One of the trees in Qusai Qadumi’s plot harvested by settlers, with the houses of Kedumim in the background. Photo courtesy of Qadumi
One of the trees in Qusai Qadumi’s plot harvested by settlers, with the houses of Kedumim in the background. Photo courtesy of Qadumi

Kafr Qadum, Qalqiliyah District: Settlers steal olives off 200 trees surrounded by settlement fence before military allows Palestinian farmers in

On 24 October 2021, farmers from Kafr Qadum in Qalqiliyah District came to their plots of land, which are surrounded by the fence of the settlement of Kedumim. It was the first day of the harvest season allotted to them by the military, which forbids them to access their land without “coordination.” Upon arrival, three of the farmers discovered that settlers, who enjoy exclusive access to the plots, had already picked all the olives off their 200 trees.

23
On of the harvester's car, torched by settlers. Photo courtesy of the witnesses
On of the harvester's car, torched by settlers. Photo courtesy of the witnesses

Turmusaya, Ramallah District: Settlers attack olive harvesters; when the victims try to defend themselves, soldiers fire tear gas and “rubber” bullets at them

On 23 Oct. 2021, Turmusaya residents were harvesting olives on their land, near which the Adei Ad outpost was established, joined recently by a settler “farm”. Some 20 masked settlers attacked them with clubs and stones, injuring several of them. Dozens of residents came to help protect the land, and soldiers who arrived fired tear gas and “rubber” bullets at them. The settlers also torched a car and damaged several others. This incident is no exception: such settler attacks are another tool Israel uses to take over Palestinian land in the West Bank. Read more

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers break branches of dozens of mature olive trees in villager’s grove

On 23 October 2021, village resident Yihya al-Kurdi (47) went to his olive grove, which lies about a kilometer east of the village, having coordinated the date with the Israeli DCO. He discovered that settlers had broken the branches off the dozens of mature olive trees in the grove.

Eleven days earlier, when al-Kurdi was barred from accessing his land, a village resident documented a settler harvesting and stealing olives from the grove. Al-Kurdi updated the Palestinian DCO, which in turn updated the Israeli DCO, but no action was taken.

20

Qaryut, Nablus District: Soldiers drive harvesting farmers off their land at gunpoint, after settlers gather nearby

On 20 October 2021, farmers from the village were harvesting olives on their land about a kilometer east of the village when they noticed dozens of settlers gathered several hundred meters away, on a dirt road connecting the settlements of Shilo and Eli. Soon after, three soldiers arrived and ordered the farmers at gunpoint to leave their groves, falsely claiming they were forbidden access without prior coordination. In fact, the farmers cultivate the lands all year round. The farmers were forced to leave, abandoning 17 sacks of olives they had managed to pick. They reported the incident to the Palestinian DCO but as of 24 October 2021, were still unable to return to the grove to take the sacks. 

Musleh Badawi, one of the farmers. Photo courtesy of witness
Musleh Badawi, one of the farmers. Photo courtesy of witness

Qaryut, Nablus District: Settlers steal approx. 100 kg of olives and equipment from villagers’ land

On 20 October 2021, several village residents discovered that settlers had stolen about 100 kilograms of olives they had picked and left in sacks on their land until the end of the harvest, as well as equipment left in the groves including eight tarpaulins, five ladders, two chainsaws, fence parts and buckets for collecting olives. The groves lie about a kilometer south of the village and are surrounded on three sides by the settlement of Shilo and the outposts of Ahiya and Shvut Rachel, which were established several hundred meters away. 

19
Soldiers with the olive sacks they took from the farmers. Photo courtesy of the Shteiwi family
Soldiers with the olive sacks they took from the farmers. Photo courtesy of the Shteiwi family

Kafr Qadum, Qalqiliyah District: Soldiers and settlement guard “confiscate” olive sacks and harvesting equipment from Palestinians to make them leave their land

On 19 October 2021, members of the Shteiwi family were harvesting olives on their land on the eastern side of the village. At around noon, three soldiers arrived and ordered them to leave, even though the military does not require them to coordinate their arrival at the grove in advance. After a brief argument, one of the soldiers took two sacks of olives and harvesting equipment and refused to return them until the family left their land.

Meanwhile, the security guard of Kedumim, a settlement established nearby, arrived and took the away the possessions the soldier had commandeered, which included sacks full of olives, an olive raker, ladders, tarpaulins and more. The family was forced to return home without their belongings. After about three hours, the settlement guard put the sacks and the equipment back in the grove and told a farmer working on a nearby plot that he was giving them back on condition that the family not return to their grove. The farmer informed the owner, who came to the grove, gathered his belongings and returned the next day with his family to continue harvesting.

Al-Mazra'ah al-Qibliyah, Ramallah District: Settlers cut down some 200 fruit-bearing olive trees

On 19 October 2021, a farmer from the village discovered that settlers had cut down more than 200 olive trees, most of which were 40 years old, on his and another farmer’s land, about two kilometers northwest of the village. 

18

Turmusaya, Ramallah District: Settlers cut down 35 fruit-bearing olive trees

On 18 October 2021, at around 8:00 A.M., farmers came to their land about three kilometers east of the village after coordinating with the military, which allotted them only four days to harvest. Upon arrival, some of the farmers discovered that settlers had cut down 35 olive trees, which were 30 to 50 years old, on their land. The trees would have yielded about 160 kilograms of olive oil a year. The residents reported the incident to a representative of the Israeli DCO who was there. The next day, police officers arrived and suggested that one of the landowners, Rabah Hamza (54), file a complaint at the Binyamin police station, but he chose not to as it would be futile.  

Last year, settlers cut down some 100 olive trees on the Hamza family’s land.

The settler leaving with the sack of olives, in full view of the security forces. Stills from video.
The settler leaving with the sack of olives, in full view of the security forces. Stills from video.

Qaryut, Nablus District: Israeli security forces guard olive theft from Palestinian grove

On the morning of 18 October 2021, about 30 members of the Johar family from the village of Qaryut in Nablus District came to the first harvest day the military had allotted them on their land. They found a settler harvesting their trees, escorted by soldiers, Border Police officers and a settlement guard. The soldiers helped the settler gather his equipment and leave with the olives he had picked. When they checked the grove, the family discovered that settlers had harvested most of the olives from about 120 trees and uprooted and stolen about 10 fruit-bearing olive trees, leaving only pits behind. The family’s grove is located about 4 kilometers southeast of the village and is hemmed in on either side by the outposts of Kida and ‘Adei Ad.

Sa’id Abu ‘Alia on his land. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem
Sa’id Abu ‘Alia on his land. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem

Al-Mughayir, Ramallah District: Settlers dig path through olive grove and cut down 35 fruit-bearing trees

On the morning of 18 October 2021, Sa’id Abu ‘Alia (61) came to his land on the first harvest day the military had allotted him. Upon arrival, he discovered that settlers had dug a dirt path through his grove and installed poles and cameras along it. This included razing and uprooting 35 40-year-old olive trees. The settlement outpost of ‘Adei Ad was established about 200 meters from the grove.

Khallet Makhul, Jordan Valley: Police detain community resident after settlers accuse her of throwing stones at them. Two days later, settlers attack her home

On 18 October 2021, at around 12:30 P.M., several settlers passed by the house of Najiyah Bsharat (44) with about 200 heads of cattle on their way to pastureland nearby. The settlers entered into a confrontation with Najiyah’s children, and she came out of the house when she heard the commotion. At that point, a police car arrived and the settlers accused Basharat of throwing stones at them. The officers arrested Bsharat and took her to the Binyamin police station. Her husband drove after her with their three-month-old daughter and an activist who was there. The officers at the station questioned Bsharat and allowed her to nurse the baby. They then gave the baby back to her father and detained the mother at the station. Bsharat was only transferred to the Palestinian DCO after midnight, and from there she was sent home.

On 20 October 2021, at around 10:00 P.M., settlers attacked Najiyah Bsharat’s home with stones and fled in a car towards the settlement of Hemdat, which was established about 2.5 kilometers from the community.

Jbarah Shtiyeh holding one of the branches cut down by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the witness
Jbarah Shtiyeh holding one of the branches cut down by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the witness

Salem, Nablus District: Settlers harvest grove of 39 olive trees, steal crop and break branches

On the morning of 18 October 2021, Jbarah Shtiyeh (61) came to his land on the first harvest day the military had allotted him and discovered that settlers had harvested all 39 trees in his grove, which lies about a kilometer northeast of the village, and stolen the olives. The settlers also broke many branches and threw them on the ground.

17

Yasuf, Salfit District: Settlers steal harvesting equipment from grove

On the morning of 17 October 2021, Nasser Snobar (42) from the village of Yatma in Nablus District discovered that settlers had entered his land and stolen harvesting equipment: eight tarpaulins, four ladders and a rake for shaking the trees that he had left on his land the day before. They also damaged cooking equipment. According to Snobar, the value of the stolen equipment is about NIS 1,300 (~408 USD). The grove lies within village land of Yasuf, about 700 meters west of Yatma.

Turmusaya, Ramallah District: Settlers pepper spray two Palestinians fencing off plot in attempt to drive them out

On the morning of 17 October 2021, brothers Ahmad (25) and ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (19) Abu ‘Awwad were fencing off a plot belonging to a village resident, which lies east of the village. At around 9:00 A.M., three groups of settlers passed by in vehicles and ATVs, one after the other. The first group surveilled the brothers and left. The second group swore at the brothers and went on their way. When the third group arrived, with two civilian jeeps and an ATV, a settler got out of one of the jeeps and began yelling at the brothers and trying to drive them out of the plot. The two were frightened and went back to their car, but after the settler left the area, resumed work on the fence.

About half an hour later, two masked settlers arrived with two large dogs from the direction of the shepherding farm established about two years ago on the outskirts of the ‘Adei Ad and Amihai outposts, a few hundred meters from the plot. The settlers went over to the brothers and ordered them to leave, and one sprayed them in the face with pepper spray. The settlers then fled the scene, and the brothers drove to a clinic in the village to receive first aid.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad on 18 October 2021, Ahmad Abu ‘Awwad recounted the attack:

When we saw two masked settlers coming down to us from the direction of the shepherding outpost with two giant dogs, we stayed put to see what they wanted. As soon as they reached us, one of them started talking to us in Hebrew. I told him I didn’t understand and handed him my phone to type what he wanted, so we could translate it through Google. He wrote, “Does the military you’re here?” I answered no. He wrote, “Get out of here before the settlers come and hurt you.” I told him, “We’ll finish working in half an hour and leave.” He replied, “No, five minutes and you’re out.”  

Suddenly, he pulled a pepper spray canister out from under his shirt and sprayed me in the face from point-blank range. The gas got into my eyes, nose and mouth, and I choked. I started shouting. I felt short of breath and my eyes were full of tears. My face was burning in a way that’s hard to describe. The settler also sprayed my brother ‘Abd, who was next to me. It hurt so much, I ran away screaming. I ran about 100 meters and didn’t know where to go. My brother ‘Abd pulled himself together, got into our car and drove towards me. I got in and we drove off. I didn’t see what the settlers did, but ‘Abd told me they ran off right after the attack.

16
Settlers attacking the ‘Eid family’s home. Photo courtesy of the family
Settlers attacking the ‘Eid family’s home. Photo courtesy of the family

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers stone home and torch 29 olive trees; soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinians trying to defend themselves

On 16 October 2021, around midday, about 30 settlers escorted by soldiers arrived at the village of Burin. The settlers, some of whom were masked, stoned the ‘Eid family’s home. When villagers came to the area to fend off the settlers, the soldiers fired tear gas canisters at them. Meanwhile, settlers set fire to nearby fields and burned down 29 olive trees belonging to village residents. The settlers then withdrew towards the outpost of Sneh Yaakov (Givat Ronen), which was established in 1999 about 400 meters from the ‘Eid family’s home. This is the seventh attack on the family’s home B’Tselem has documented since June 2020. 

חיילים ליד בית משפחת עיד. התמונה באדיבות המשפחה
Soldiers near the ‘Eid family’s home. Photo courtesy of the family 
The structure the settlers erected in the olive grove of a Beitillu resident. Photo by Fa’id Ziyadah, one of the farmers
The structure the settlers erected in the olive grove of a Beitillu resident. Photo by Fa’id Ziyadah, one of the farmers

Beitillu, Ramallah District: Settlers pick and steal olives, break tree branches and throw stones at harvesters

On 16 October 2021, at around 8:00 A.M., farmers from the village came to harvest olives in a grove that has 250 trees and lies about 800 meters east of the village. They discovered that settlers had harvested most of the olives from about 20 trees and broken the branches of seven other trees. The farmers began harvesting the remaining trees. At around 10:30 A.M., several settlers entered the grove and began provoking the farmers and arguing with them. They left a few minutes later. At around 12:30 P.M., about 10 young settlers armed with sticks arrived at the grove from the direction of the settlement of Nahaliel, which was established about 100 meters from the grove, and began throwing stones at the farmers. A military jeep passing by stopped and the soldiers got out and drove the settlers away from the area. The soldiers stayed near the grove and guarded the harvesters for about two hours and then left.

A year earlier, in early 2020, one of the farmers discovered that settlers had erected a wooden structure and a livestock enclosure in the grove and had planted about 20 tree seedlings. The farmer filed a complaint at the Binyamin police station but no action was taken, and the structure is still standing.

15
Trees in the grove from which the olives were stolen. Photo courtesy of the farmers
Trees in the grove from which the olives were stolen. Photo courtesy of the farmers

Kafr Qalil, Nablus District: Settlers steal olives off 300 trees

In mid-October, villagers noticed settlers some distance away, harvesting olives in a grove belonging to Suliman al-Kini (28) that lies 600 meters south of the village. The military forbids al-Kini from accessing his land without prior coordination. The residents reported the theft to the Israeli DCO. Two days later, DCO representatives returned seven sacks to al-Kini containing about 140 kilograms of olives. However, on 23 October 2021, when al-Kini was finally allowed to reach his land on a date set by the military, he discovered that settlers had harvested and stolen most of the crop off 300 of his olive trees – many more olives than the amount returned to him.

Yasuf, Salfit District: Settlers steal olives off 20 trees

On the morning of 15 October 2021, Talal ‘Azzam (54) discovered that settlers had harvested and stolen most of the crop off the 20 olive trees in his grove, which lies east of the village.

14

Khallet Makhul, Jordan Valley: Settlers harass shepherd and summon police, who detain him

On the morning of 14 October 2021, Burhan Bsharat (45) set out to graze his flock east of the community, accompanied by several Israeli activists. When he reached the pasture, he found several settlers there who began shouting at the sheep and pushing them in an attempt to drive them away. When Bsharat tried to prevent them from harming the flock, the settlers called the military and the Israel Police, who arrived within minutes and detained him for several hours.

About 10 days earlier, settlers twice drove Bsharat’s flock out of the area, in one of the times even spraying pepper spray in his face.

Settlers on village land. Above – the shed erected by the settlers. Photo by Dina Chizik, B’Tselem, 15 October 2021
Settlers on village land. Above – the shed erected by the settlers. Photo by Dina Chizik, B’Tselem, 15 October 2021

Yasuf, Salfit District: Settlers attack harvesters and steal equipment; soldiers forbid landowners from harvesting their trees

On 14 October 2021, Yusef Hamuda (64) and his brother Ibrahim (50) went to their olive grove, which lies on the southern side of the village, 300 meters from where the settlement of Rehelim was established. When they got there, they encountered three settlers who ordered them to leave and threatened to summon dozens of other settlers. Yusef Hamuda called the Palestinian DCO and meanwhile, noticed many settlers gathering by a shed erected by settlers on private Palestinian land outside Rehelim. The three settlers in the grove tried to steal equipment off the roof of the brothers’ car, but the two managed to get in and drive off.

The next day, at around 10:00 A.M., about 30 settlers, some of them masked and armed with sticks, attacked Jomanah Suliman (44) and workers she had hired to harvest olives in her grove, which lies north of the Hamuda family’s plot. The settlers threw stones at the harvesters, hitting Suliman, and sprayed pepper spray at her. They also stole farming equipment, a mobile phone and personal belongings from the harvesters, and fled towards the shed. On their way, the settlers stoned seven members of the Hamuda family who were working their land at the time. The family fled to their car, which was parked near Route 60, but the settlers chased them, smashed the rear window and then fled.

At that point, police, soldiers and Border Police forces arrived, but none of them tried to chase after the assailants. The police officers collected statements from some of the residents, and the soldiers put about five settlers who were in the fields by the shed into their jeep and drove away. After that, the Israeli forces left the area without ensuring the stolen property be returned to its owners.

The next morning, 16 October 2021, members of the Hamuda family went to their grove to continue harvesting their trees. Fifteen soldiers arrived and ordered them to leave their land because they hadn’t coordinated the harvest –  although they had never been required to do so before. The family was forced to leave the area, as settlers stood by the shed and watched them.

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.