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About 150 settler-colonists from ‘Susya’ and its outgrowths invaded Wadi Thawamin Thursday night, removed a Palestinian family from the cave it inhabits, lit campfires, sang and celebrated into the night – the Israeli army refused to come and order them away; On Saturday dozens of Palestinian and Israeli activists and journalists joined a demonstrarion of protest at Thawamin, which the army pushed back with stun grenades all the way to the gates of ‘Susya’, where Jewish settler-colonists attacked the demonstrators and journalists; trees planted on Saturday in Shwaike lands in the South Hebron Hills were uprooted that very evening by settler-colonists from the outpost ‘Estamo’a’. About 120 olive trees were also uprooted in Palestinian lands near the outpost ‘Avigail’, and in Salfit district settler-colonists of ‘Brukhin’ uprooted about 120 olive trees and vandalized structures and fences; another escalation this week in stone throwing by settler-colonists on various roads throughout the territories, at houses in the villages of Bourin and Jinsafout and the wounding of Palestinians including a 5-year old child and his mother;
photo: Protest demonstration against the invasions of Thawamin by settler-colonists from ‘Susya’ this week, Saturday, January 23, 2021, photo: Orly Noy
South Hebron Hills
The settler-colonists of ‘Susya’ are conducting a planned and organized operation in order to expel Palestinians from Wadi Thawamin and rob their lands, closely back up by all arms of the occupation forces. Last Saturday, January 16, the wadi was invaded by groups of settler-colonists both morning and evening, and since this past Wednesday daily incursions have taken place repeatedly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; the settler-colonists declare that they will not cease until the inhabitants be expelled from their lands and the caves in which they live. On the night of Thursday, January 21, about 150 settler-colonists reached the caves inhabited by the landowners who do so to protect their lands. The invaders lit bonfires, sang and celebrated, and even got one of the local families out of its cave. For hours activists and the lawyer representing the inhabitants appealed to the authorities, who in turn refused to respond and arrive at the site, claiming that the settler-colonists are allowed to be there. This is claimed in spite of the fact that it is in invasion of private lands and dwellings, the ownership of which is established and recognized by the occupation authorities, and the area is supposedly closed to Israelis by official edict. The next day, an officer of the Civil Administration was documented threatening the Palestinian inhabitants that if they bring journalists and activists who support them, they themselves would be chased away. On Saturday, January 23, a large group of journalists and activists – Palestinians and Israelis – came to support the struggle of the landowners to remain on their land. The Israeli forces tried to prevent the activists from arriving at the site by blocking their vehicles on roads leading there, but dozens of activists managed to arrive and hold a demonstration in situ. Unlike the settler-colonist incursion, the support demonstration of the Palestinian landowners was dispersed and pushed back by the Israeli occupation forces with stun grenades towards the entrance to settler-colony ‘Susya’. There settler-colonists came out and attacked activists and journalists. The army merely distanced the assailants and no measures were taken against them. Again, against the demonstrators the army used stun grenades and pushed them far from there as well. In the evening settler-colonists tried once more to reach Thawamin, but this time the Israeli army prevented their coming. Activists spent the night with the local families in order to protect them.
At the same time, on Saturday activists helped plant trees in land belonging to Shwaike close to the settler-colony ‘Shim’a’. Planting went unhampered, but that evening it was reported that settler-colonists from the outpost ‘Mitzpe Eshtamo’a’ came and uprooted most of the planted trees. At Simara, activists accompanied plowing in lands close to the outpost ‘Mitzpe Yair’ from which the owners had been chased away in the past two weeks. This time plowing went unhampered.
On Tuesday, January 19, it was reported that about 120 trees planted by Palestinians and helped by activists about a year ago were uprooted, near the outpost ‘Avigail’.
Palestinian Jordan Valley
At Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, activists accompanied shepherds on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Usually this went unhampered, but on Tuesday settler-colonists raised a drone that chased one of the flocks. On Saturday too the shepherds reported that their flocks had been chased from the grazing grounds by a drone.
On Saturday, January 23, a settler-colonist from the new outpost near Hamra in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley threatened shepherds not to reach grazing grounds, and the same day settler-colonists from ‘Maskiyot’ harassed the shepherd community at En Al Hilwa and told the inhabitants to move to Jordan.
Activists participated in a demonstration by villagers of Deir Balout held this week, that went unhampered.
On Saturday, January 23, a gang of settlers from ‘Brukhin’ invaded lands in near-by Kafar A-Diq, uprooted about 120 olive trees and vandalized structures and fences.
Throughout the Occupied West Bank
Since Thursday, January 21, demonstrations by settler-colonists on all roads throughout the occupied Palestinian territories have escalated, and according to the army data, that usually does not tend to deal with Palestinian victims, during Thursday’s and Friday’s demonstrations at least 20 incidents were noted where violence was exerted against Palestinians. Near Burqa in the Ramallah district, a mother and her 5-year old son were hit by stones thrown at their car – the boy hurt in his face. Close to ‘Gitit’ settler-colony, as well, a Palestinian from Yasouf village was hurt by stones thrown at his car. Road blocking, stone throwing and damaging cars were also documented in the Palestinian Jordan Valley main road, at the Beit Haggai Junction, and at the Meitarim Junction in the Hebron area.
On Thursday night, a settler-colonist attack was reported against two houses in Bourin village (Nablus district) with incendiary bombs. Military sources also reported an incursion by settler-colonists at Jinsafout village (Qalqiliya district), where the windows of a Palestinian home were smashed and several vehicles were damaged.
On Saturday, January 23, once more settler-colonists from the outpost ‘Giv’at Ronen’ came down to Bourin village and threw stones at homes. In documentation of the event occupation soldiers stand next to settler-colonists who throw stones without any attempt to stop the stone throwing or take any kind of measures against the assailants. The occupation authorities notified that one settler-colonist was arrested at this incident for pushing a soldier, and was released after questioning.