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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

November 2021

17
Mu’tasem Mashani after his injury. Photo courtesy of witnesses to the incident
Mu’tasem Mashani after his injury. Photo courtesy of witnesses to the incident

A-Shuyukh, Hebron District: Settlers stone harvesters and two surveyors and expel them with help of Border Police sent to protect the Palestinians

On 17 November 2021, at around 8:30 A.M., two employees of a surveying company, Mu’tasem Mashani (27) and Mujahed Shalaldeh (26), arrived at village land to take measurements for the local council. The work was coordinated with the Civil Administration, and two Border Police officers accompanied the surveyors. That day, farmers from the village came to the area as it was one of three harvest days coordinated by the Civil Administration. They were also accompanied by Border Police officers and by a Civil Administration representative.

At around 10:30 A.M., about 30 settlers came from the direction of the settlement of Metzad (Asfar), established near the site, and began harassing the farmers. After a verbal confrontation, the settlers and the Border Police officers, including those sent to protect the farmers, began shoving the latter away. After the Border Police left the area, the settlers started throwing stones at the surveyors, who fled the scene. During their escape, one was hit in the head by a stone thrown by the settlers and continued running while bleeding. When the two reached their cars, parked about 700 meters away, farmers who were there tried to treat Mu’tasem Mashani’s wound. Afterwards, a Civil Administration representative arrived along with Border Police officers and a military medic who gave Mashani first aid.   

Mashani filed a complaint at the police station in the settlement of Beitar Illit.  

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Manal al-Ja’bari on 21 November 2021, Mujahed Shalaldeh described what happened that day:  

The settlers started throwing stones at us. Mu’tasem asked me to take the measuring device, which costs about NIS 70,000 (~USD 22,506), and run away because he was worried the settlers would damage it. We ran for about 700 meters until we reached our cars. On the way, the settlers threw stones at us from a high place. I heard Mu’tasem shout and when I turned around, I saw his face covered in blood.  

I kept running and Mu’tasem ran behind me, bleeding, until we reached a safe place. Then I stopped to help him. I took my shirt off and bandaged his head with it to stop the bleeding. Then we ran to the car. 

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A-Shuyukh, Hebron District: Settlers torch olive grove

On 16 November 2021, members of the a-Shalaldeh family from the village spotted, from afar, settlers setting fire to a grove with hundreds of olive trees. The settlement of Metzad (Asfar) was established near the grove. As the Israeli military bars the family from accessing their land without coordination, they could not assess the extent of the damage.    

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Burqah/Homesh: Settlers attack landowners coming to area of evacuated settlement to plant trees

On Monday, 15 November 2021, at around 11:00, about 15 residents of the village of Burqah in Nablus District came to their land, from which the settlement of Homesh had been evacuated in 2005.   
 

The landowners arrived in four cars and a tractor and brought seedlings to plant in their land but were surprised to find several settlers there when they reached the area. While attempting to leave the area for fear of a confrontation, a minibus drove up with more settlers.
 

The settlers, some of whom were carrying firearms and others holding batons and pepper spray, attacked the landowners in their cars using live fire, batons and stones. Shadi Abu O'mar (37) was injured after settlers hit him repeatedly on his head with a metal rod, as well as sprayed him with pepper spray, which caused him to lose consciousness. Five additional Palestinians were injured by baton blows and stones, and all were evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus. In addition, the settlers smashed the windshields of three of the landowners’ cars.

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Settlers attack Israeli volunteers in Surif. Photo by Shai Kendler, 11 Nov. 2021
Settlers attack Israeli volunteers in Surif. Photo by Shai Kendler, 11 Nov. 2021

Surif, Hebron District: Settlers attack Palestinian olive harvesters and Israeli volunteers with clubs

On the morning of 11 November 2021, residents of Surif went, accompanied by Israeli volunteers, to harvest olives on their land in the presence of several soldiers. Upon arrival, the farmers discovered that settlers had already harvested part of the crop. At around noon, the soldiers left the area. After about an hour, several masked settlers arrived and attacked the residents and volunteers with stones and clubs, while a settlement security guard stood by and watched. Three Israeli volunteers were injured and two were taken away for medical treatment. Towards the end of the attack, police and Border Police officers arrived and drove the settlers away.

Huwarah, Nablus District: Settlers attack harvesters with stones and clubs as soldiers stand by

On 11 November 2021, at around 12:30 P.M., settlers armed with clubs came to the northwestern side of the village and stoned residents who were harvesting olives. Soldiers who were there as part of the coordination with the military stood by during the attack. One of the harvesters, Nasser ‘Odeh (35), sustained minor injuries from stones that hit him and was treated at Rafidia hospital in Nablus.

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“Enemies live here” and Star of David sprayed by settlers on fence of house. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 9 Nov. 2021
“Enemies live here” and Star of David sprayed by settlers on fence of house. Photo by Iyad Hadad, B’Tselem, 9 Nov. 2021

Al-Birah, Ramallah District: Settlers puncture tires of 36 cars and spray hate slogans

On 9 November 2021, at 3:40 A.M., security cameras recorded three settlers who entered the northern neighborhood of the town, punctured the tires of 36 vehicles and spray-painted the walls of six homes and 12 cars with slogans including, “Enemies here live,” “There will be war over Judea and Samaria” and “Price tag,” as well as Stars of David. Residents of the neighborhood estimated that the settlers left through the dirt road leading to the nearby settlement of Beit El. The day after the incident, representatives of the Israeli DCO arrived at the town escorted by soldiers, photographed the damage and listened to residents’ testimonies. Several young Palestinians hurled stones at the soldiers, and the latter threw stun grenades and fired tear gas canisters at them. No one was injured.  

On 23 October 2019, B’Tselem documented a similar incident in which settlers entered the neighborhood, vandalized cars and spray-painted slogans. On 27 October 2020, settlers torched the al-Bir wa al-Ehsan mosque in the town, which lies about 800 meters away.   

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Su’ad ‘Alayan and Na’imah Makhamreh after the attack. Photo by Yasmin Eran-Vardi, 7 Nov. 2021
Su’ad ‘Alayan and Na’imah Makhamreh after the attack. Photo by Yasmin Eran-Vardi, 7 Nov. 2021

Sadet a-Tha'leh, South Hebron Hills: Settlers attack Palestinians near their home, yet Israeli security forces drive the victims away

On 6 and 7 November, settlers came from the Manne farm outpost to a well that serves the community of Sadet a-Tha’leh in the South Hebron Hills. Residents tried to drive them away, but the settlers attacked them and even injured several of them. Israeli security forces arrived immediately and summoned a resident for questioning; in the second incident, they declared the area a closed military zone. Settlers from the farm have taken over some 1,500 dunams in which they prevent Palestinians from accessing farmland and pastureland. Read more

Khirbet Susiya, South Hebron Hills: Soldiers guard settlers invading playground

On the afternoon of 6 November 2021, dozens of settlers guarded by about 20 soldiers invaded the playground of the community of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron hills and chased away the children who were playing there. The settlers pried off the entrance gate to the playground, and some began roaming among the residents’ homes in front of soldiers who did nothing to stop the invasion. Only after an hour did the soldiers remove the settlers from the community.

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Settlers throwing stones at the ‘Eid family home. Photo courtesy of the family.
Settlers throwing stones at the ‘Eid family home. Photo courtesy of the family.

Burin, Nablus District: Dozens of settlers stone the ‘Eid family home

On 6 November 2021, at around 4:15 P.M., dozens of settlers stoned the home of the ‘Eid family, who has been suffering from repeated settler attacks. About a dozen soldiers who arrived at the scene fired tear gas canisters at residents who came to defend the home and threw stones at the settlers to drive them away. The settlers and soldiers then retreated from the area.  

One of the villagers was injured in his arm by a stone thrown by a settler and was taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where a cast was placed on his arm. Two other residents were lightly injured by stones. 

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Kafr Qadum, Qalqiliyah District: Settlers try to steal olives; soldiers hurl stun grenades at farmers, setting 80 olive trees on fire

On 5 November 2021, at around 2:30 P.M., Hilmi Shteiwi (61) was picking olives with his family on their land east of the village when he spotted two settlers picking olives off trees in another of his plots, which lies some distance away. Houses in the settlement of Kedumim were built adjacent to the plot, which the military forbids Shteiwi from entering without prior coordination. Shteiwi drew near and saw the settlers had filled three sacks with his crop.  

Meanwhile, other farmers who had heard that the settlers were stealing olives arrived, followed by a police car and soldiers. The two settlers fled when the police arrived, and Shteiwi managed to take the sacks of olives from them. Some of the residents entered into a confrontation with the soldiers, who hurled stun grenades and fired rubber-coated metal bullets at them. The stun grenades started a fire that burned down some 80 olive trees, 14 of them owned by Shteiwi.

Shteiwi filed a complaint against the two settlers who had harvested olives in his grove at the Ariel police station. 

Burin, Nablus District: Settlers cut all the branches off dozens of olive trees

On 5 November 2021, three farmers from the village of Burin in Nablus District discovered that settlers had cut all the branches off 32 of their olive trees, which lie on their land on their southern side of the village.

October 2021

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Branches settlers broke off one of the trees from which they stole olives. Photo courtesy of the grove owner
Branches settlers broke off one of the trees from which they stole olives. Photo courtesy of the grove owner

Kafr Qadum, Qalqiliyah District: Settlers steal olives off more than 200 trees surrounded by settlement fence while farmers are denied access

On 31 October 2021, the Barham family went to pick their olive trees, 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, the family discovered that settlers, who enjoy exclusive access to their land, had already harvested most of the olives in their two groves, which have about 300 trees. The settlers had also leveled part of the land, partially burying about 40 olive trees.

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‘Awarta, Nablus District: Settlers harass olive harvesters, and one pepper-sprays them in front of soldiers

On 25 October 2021, several village residents went to harvest olives on their land, which stretches about two kilometers east of the village. They had coordinated their arrival with the military, as the settlement of Itamar was established nearby. The farmers were escorted by several soldiers and joined by volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights. While they were at work, several settlers arrived and began to provoke them. One sprayed the harvesters with pepper spray, lightly injuring two farmers and a volunteer. The soldiers who were escorting the harvesters drove the settlers out.

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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.

Qarawat Bani Hassan, Salfit District: Settlers harass shepherd and try to lead his flock to outpost

On 24 October 2021, at around 3:30 P.M., a group of settlers arrived from the direction of the Yair Farm outpost, which was established about a kilometer north of the village, at pastureland that stretches between the outpost and the village. The settlers shouted at Sadeq Rayan (20), a village resident who was grazing a flock of some 200 sheep there, and tried to lead the flock towards the outpost. The shepherd called his father, Fawzat Rayan (41), who shouted back at the settlers, causing them to flee toward the outpost. As the father and son led their flock back to the village, they encountered a settlement security guard who shouted at them, as well. After a brief argument, the Palestinians and the settler went home.

In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Abdulkarim Sadi on 25 October 2021, Fawzat Rayan recounted:

After the settlers left the area, my son and I decided to go back to the village with the sheep in order to avoid problems with other settlers, because they always come in groups and harass farmers in the area so they can drive us out and take over the land. Our village lands are surrounded by settlements and outposts: Yair Farm, Kiryat Netafim, Revava, Yakir, Nofim and Barkan. 

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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.

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

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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. 

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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.

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.