Settlers from illegal colony of Itamar destroy 1,500 Palestinian olive trees in Awarta

 12th July 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Awarta, Occupied Palestine

On the morning of Thursday 11th July, villagers from Awarta found that 1,500 of their olive trees had been cut down over the last month by settlers from the illegal settlement of Itamar. When they attempted to highlight this crime with media coverage, the mayor and several journalists were detained for several hours by the Israeli military.

Tree cut down by a chainsaw in the last month by settlers from Itamar (Photo by Awarta Municipality)

Tree cut down by a chainsaw in the last month by settlers from Itamar (Photo by Awarta Municipality)

Four villagers of Awarta, including the Mayor, went to visit their occupied farm lands, accompanied by soldiers on the 11th of July. They have been denied access to this land for years, and are required by the Israeli authorities to apply for permission because the land has been annexed by the nearby illegal settlement of Itamar.

A month previously the villagers of Awarta had applied to see their lands because they could hear chainsaw noises and were concerned for their olive trees. However, they were left waiting for eight hours as no soldiers had arrived and they were concerned that they would be arrested if they went to their own land without the military.

The liaison between Palestinians and the Israeli military, the District Coordination Office (DCO), called the mayor of Awarta at 11pm on Wednesday 10th, telling the villagers they would have to meet the soldiers at 5am the next day if they wanted to visit their land. This inconvenient time, especially as it is currently Ramadan, meant that only three farmers and the mayor could attend.

When they reached the occupied farm lands, which are owned by 22 families of Awarta, they found that around 1,500 of their olive trees had been destroyed by residents of the illegal Itamar settlement. From seeing the trees the farmers could tell by the dry stumps that this violent destruction had been going on for over a month, with the most recent trees being cut only in the past few days.

The Mayor returned a few hours after this visit, accompanied by journalists who planned to report on this illegal destruction of Palestinian olive trees. Whilst the Mayor was showing them around, all of them were detained by Israeli soldiers and held for over two hours at the nearby military base in Huwara. Even though the land is legally owned by the village of Awarta the army claimed they had overstayed their visiting permit and their presence there was illegal. For more details of the land annexation of Awarta see previous ISM report here.

Villagers of Awarta also have to deal with regular attacks during settler visits to a local tomb. The tomb site is used by Muslim residents of the village as it is disputed as to who is buried there. The settlers come in the night escorted by soldiers, destroying property as they go; most recently they targeted the school, tearing down the basketball hoops.

The soldiers also raid homes without notice, destroying belongings and frightening inhabitants; the latest, Saturday 6th July, resulted in the arrest of an 18 year old boy, Murad Khaled. His current whereabouts are unknown – he is still under arrest.

Some of the 1,500 trees cut down by settlers from Itamar (Photo by Awarta municipality)

Some of the 1,500 trees cut down by settlers from Itamar (Photo by Awarta municipality)

Note from occpal: Israel destroyed over 2,5 Million trees Since 1967 only (Report Page 31) while last summer, it was boasting about it’s ‘agricultural development at the Floriade 2012 World Expo (More about that here)

Israeli bulldozer uprooting olive trees (Photo by CPT)

Israeli bulldozer uprooting olive trees (Photo by CPT)

(Some) Examples of attacks by Jewish Colonists in Palestine

I emphasize, just some examples….
For a full overview see: Category Settler Violence

Jewish settlers write offenses against Jesus on Monastery – Oct 2, 2012

Zionist settlers attack 38 year old man in Majaz, Sept 16, 2012

3rd time in a week Havat Ma’on settlers chased palestinian kids – July 31, 2012

Settlers attack & wound 5 men, torch 400 olivetrees,kill 20 sheep July 7, 2012

Israeli settlers attack & torched a mosque in WB Palestine – June 19, 2012

Terrorist settler assassinates 2 Palestinians in Al-Khalil – June 17, 2012

Israeli colonists and occupation militia attack farmers in Tuqua – May 30, 2012

Israeli Settlers set olive trees on fire, shoot a Palestinian in ‘Urif – May 26, 2012

#JerusalemDay: settlers provocative march Al-Aqsa May 20, 2012

Settlers attack a school and injure 8 students – April 23, 2012

Masked Jewish settlers attack and stone Palestinians – Febr 28, 2012

Israeli Settler attack on Al-Aqsa and compound – Al-Quds – Febr 19, 2012

Israeli Settler Attack – Savages torch car and paint racist slogans – Febr 16, 2012

Israeli Settlers displaying their “Intelligence & Morals” – Febr 7, 2012

Illegal Settler raze & confiscate Palestinian land under protection of Israeli Army – Febr 6, 2012

Settler attack in Al-Janyeih: Anti Palestinian Graffiti – Febr 5, 2012

Jewish savage extremists destroy Muslim Graves on a cemetery in Beisan – Jan 25, 2012

Settlers torch a car of a 53 yr old woman in Tel Rumeideh – Jan 16, 2012

Cars & mosque vandalized in ‘price tag’ settler attack – Jan 11, 2012

Jewish settlers break into Muslim shrines to perform Talmudic rituals – Jan 6, 2012

lers torch 2 cars and a car wash station – Jan 4, 2012

Settlers Attack on a Mosque & 5 Cars – Dec 19, 2011

“Milchamah” – “War” Settlers attack a mosque Dec 15 2011

J’lem Mosque set alight in ‘price tag’ attack Dec 14, 2011

Settlers vandalize Muslim graves in Jerusalem – Nov 10, 2011

Christian & Muslim Cemeteries vandalized by zionists in Jaffa – Oct 7, 2011

Radical Jewish terrorists torch Mosque in Tuba – Oct 3, 2011

Settlers Cut Down 200 Olive Trees inh Qusra – Oct 6, 2011

Israel supplies weapons and training to illegal colonists in Palestine

The full album and resources about Settler Violence

Click to see the Album Ethnic Cleansing of Negev Bedouin

Click to see the Album House Demolitions

Click to see the Album Settlement Construction

Israeli attacks against Christians and holy sites

Essential information/resources

  • Israel Arms & Trains Illegal Settlers for Rampage in Occupied Palestine – In Photos
  • Leaked document “Operation Summer Seeds”: Israeli forces train & arm settlers to attack Palestinian protesters – Source
  • Netherlands blocks EU report about Settler Violence, The Rights Forum exposes it – Source & Translations
  • MP Barghouthi warns of massacres after Israel arms, trains settlers – Source
  • Israel gives settlers weapons for September- Source
  • How US “charities” break tax laws to fund Israeli settlements – EI
  • France’s JDL’s “Travel Agency” Call for “Militant Rampage Trip”- Source
  • Israeli settlers to be armed with dogs as well as tear gas and stun grenades – Source
  • Topic – Settler Terrorism – Source
  • Video – Settler Attack dogs of the West Bank | Video |

Still live in fairytaleland about Israel? Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on their currency.

All facts storified and continuously updated. Read what Israeli ‘leaders’ have said and done even before (peace) talks and how their actions contradict the reality and ugly facts which they try to hide from you:

Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…

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