Sunday, March 28 2021 This week – March 21-27, 2021 – in the Occupied Territories

Residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem call upon activists and supporters to join the weekly demonstration this Friday in order to stop eviction of Palestinian families from their homes by Jewish settlers – the date set by the court for the eviction is close; having wounded an activist near Tayibe Junction on Sunday, this week settlers ceased incursions with their herds into Palestinian lands in the area, apparently under pressure of the Israeli police; settlers built a swimming pool near En Al Hilwa spring, the only water source of Palestinian shepherds in the area; the site of En Khaniya, Walaje’s main spring confiscated from the Palestinian village, has opened to Israelis; settlers from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost scattered sheep corpses in Umm Al Ara’is, in lands of the Palestinian whom they had seriously wounded 2 weeks ago; the way to nearby Bir Al Eid, which has been blocked with boulders by the ‘Mitzpe Yair’ settlers, was cleared by activists;

photo: Clearing the way to Bir Al Eid in the South Hebron Hills, Saturday March 27, 2021

Palestinian Jordan Valley and the West Bank Hill Range
After an activist was wounded by settler-colonists around the Tayibe Junction on Sunday March 21, apparently the police has begun to take more serious settler-colonist violence and their incursions with their flocks into Palestinians’ lands. Activists in the area this week did not run into settler-colonists’ flocks in these areas.
At Auja in the southern Palestinian Jordan Valley, this week activists accompanied Palestinian shepherds on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Unlike the past, Israeli soldiers did not hamper grazing in the area, but on Tuesday once again settler-colonists used a drone to scare the clocks and caused them to disperse and not graze.
In the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley, settler-colonists completed preparing a pool close to the En Al Hilwa spring, the only source of water for shepherds in the area. Residents of Humsa whose village was completely demolished again and again in recent months and whose entire property had been confiscated by the occupation authorities report that settler-colonists of the region come daily to observe them from afar and follow their attempts to reconstruct their village. Furthermore, it was reported that Israeli army forces chased away Palestinian shepherds from nearby Makhoul last Friday, who were grazing near an army base.
Activists accompanied shepherds near Farisiya on Sunday and Wednesday, and around Humra on Wednesday and Friday, usually unhampered. On Friday a settler-colonist sped on his mini-tractor into the flock on its way to Humra’s grazing grounds, but left without hurting the sheep and the grazing took place as planned.

The South Hebron Hills
On Friday settler-colonists from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ were reported stealing sheep from Simra villagers. The owners walked towards the outpost, demanded that their sheep be returned, and did get them back. On Saturday, family relatives of the landowner who was attacked nearby in Umm Al Arais, accompanied by activists, came to the land and discovered that outpost settler-colonists had scattered corpses and cadaver parts of sheep there. The relatives tried to remove them to an area close to the outpost, but soldiers present forced them to take them back with them. Thus, under instructions of the Israeli army, the family had to hold its weekly picnic and kids’ ball games among parts of dead sheep scattered in the area by the settler-colonists trying to take over their lands.
Works by settler-colonists on Palestinian-owned lands opposite the settler-colony ‘Maon’ continued last week protected by the occupation forces. On Friday once again the Palestinian landowners and activists held a protest demonstration against this landgrab, and the Israeli soldiers dispersed them.
On Saturday, activists were busy clearing the way to Bir Al Eid. As has happened more than once in recent months, settler-colonists from ‘Mitzpe Yair’ outpost blocked the way 3 weeks ago with large rocks and from there to Jinba and other villages inside firing ozone 918. Since then, the occupation authorities promised the attorney representing the Palestinians that the army would clear the way, but in fact it has remained blocked. Activists coming there on Saturday managed to clear the rocks and open the way for local residents. Furthermore, activists accompanied peaceful grazing near Zanouta.

Elsewhere and in Jerusalem
On Thursday inhabitants of Kufr Qassem (inside Israel) anonymous perpetrators had punctured the tires of dozens of vehicles, sprayed them with Star of David signs and graffiti – “Expel or kill!”
In Jerusalem this week the occupation authorities demolished 3 structures in Issawiya, in Jabal Mukabar and in Shu’afat.
The site of En Khaniya was opened this week by the Israeli Nature Reserves and Parks Authority exclusively for the Israeli public. This is the large spring of the Palestinian village Walaje. The Separation Fence separates the village from its spring and from the vast farmlands around it. The spring itself is now surrounded by a fence and as it is opened, armed guards are placed there. The opening of the site has not been accompanied with harassment of Walaje farmers by soldiers or the Authority’s officials, but the spring itself has been taken away from the villagers.