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From the field
Damage to trees and farmland

Khirbet a-Tawamin, South Hebron Hills: Settlers vandalize family's residential cave and steal equipment

On the evening of 7 November 2021, settlers invaded the cave of a family from the community who were not home at the time. They broke some of the family’s belongings, stole objects and lighting fixtures, emptied water containers placed by the cave and damaged an agricultural irrigation system.

Tarqumya, Hebron District: Settlers uproot some 70 olive seedlings

On 8 October 2021, town residents discovered that settlers had uprooted some 70 olive seedlings on their land.    

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.    

Deir Jarir, Ramallah District: Settler torch agricultural structure, damaging olive trees in the fire

On 4 October 2021, Anwar Abu Mokho (59) discovered that settlers had torched an agricultural structure he owned, which contained a bed, bedding, buckets, a water container, a closet and cooking utensils. Five 10-year-old olive trees near the structure were damaged in the fire.

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. 

 Olive trees vandalized by settlers. Courtesy of plot owner.
Olive trees vandalized by settlers. Courtesy of plot owner.

Al-Mughayir, Ramallah District: Settlers vandalize and torch trees in olive groves

On the morning of 13 October 2021, village residents noticed broken branches on olive trees on their land, near which the outpost of Adei Ad was established in 1998. As the military forbids the landowners from entering the land without prior coordination, they could not assess the damage. The residents reported the damage to the Palestinian DCO. That afternoon, they noticed a fire on the land and saw about 10 settler teens standing watching it. Soldiers arrived from a nearby watchtower with fire extinguishers and put out the fire.

After the soldiers returned to the watchtower, Israeli DCO personnel came to the groves, escorted by a soldier and one of the landowners, Akram Na’asan (48). An inspection of the land revealed that the settlers had broken the branches of about 80 olive trees, most of which were 30 years old, harvested other trees and set fire to 10 trees, three of which burned down entirely.

Meanwhile, four masked settlers armed with clubs arrived from the direction of Adei Ad and tried to assault Na’asan, who fled into a military jeep and locked the doors. The DCO personnel and the soldier tried unsuccessfully to stop the settlers from nearing the jeep and they pushed it until four other soldiers arrived and drove them some distance away. The DCO representatives joined Na’asan in the jeep, and one of the soldiers started driving it. At that point, a settler approached and sprayed pepper spray into the jeep through an open window. The soldier continued driving, let Na’asan out about 150 meters from the village and suggested he go home. The next day, Na’asan filed a complaint at the Binyamin police station.

One of the trees damaged by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the landowner
One of the trees damaged by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the landowner

Al-Mazra’ah al-Qibliyah, Ramallah District: Settlers steal crop off some 30 olive trees

On 12 October 2021, village residents noticed several settlers harvesting olives in a grove owned by Assad Shreiteh (45) south of the village. When the residents approached the grove, the settlers fled toward the outpost of Haresha, established in 1997 about 100 meters away, taking sacks full of olives with them. When Shreiteh arrived at the grove, he discovered that the settlers had harvested and stolen all the fruit off some 30 olive trees, broken some of the branches and knocked over the water container. Shreiteh reported the damage to the village council, which updated the Palestinian DCO. The next day, Israeli DCO personnel arrived and surveyed the land, without coordinating with Shreiteh or speaking with him.

Some of the trees cut down by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the landowner
Some of the trees cut down by the settlers. Photo courtesy of the landowner

A-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills: Settlers cut down dozens of trees bushes

On 12 October 2021, village resident Hafez al-Harini (50) discovered that settlers had uprooted about 45 olive trees, 27 almond trees, 11 grapevines and 16 sabra bushes from his land.

The plot from which the settlers uprooted and stole the seedlings. Photo courtesy of the farmers
The plot from which the settlers uprooted and stole the seedlings. Photo courtesy of the farmers

Sabastiya, Nablus District: Settlers uproot and steal some 800 fruit tree seedlings and damage fence funded by Oxfam

On 12 October 2021, several families from Sabastiya discovered that settlers had stolen some 600 apricot seedlings and about 200 olive seedlings from their land, which lies about a kilometer southwest of the town and some 100 meters from the settlement of Shavei Shomron. The settlers had also dismantled and stolen a gate erected at the entrance to the plots, and damaged part of the barbed wire fence surrounding them. The land was prepared for cultivation in 2019 with support by Oxfam, after being abandoned due to proximity to the settlement. Oxfam also funded the purchase of the seedlings, fence and gate. Settlers previously damaged seedlings in these groves in January 2020.

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. 

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