Sinjil - settlers have been trying to set up two new illegal outposts on private land

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Ana S. (reporting Tel Interview)

As usual, M. is very busy. Yesterday morning he was working on a tractor, and asked me to call after 3 pm. but I couldn’t reach him. So I called today. He was busy farming, but he asked his wife, who was near him and speaks English fluently to serve as his translator.

Covid 19: only a few people are sick, so it’s not a problem.

SETTLEMENTS. Their main problem now is that for the last month, about 70-75 settlers have been trying to set up two new illegal outposts on Sinjil private land—one group in the North, near Maale Levona, and another in the West, near Givat Harel. They keep trying to clear this private land and grab it; naturally, the Palestinian owners try to stop them, but the invaders refuse to leave. To prevent this daily conflict from escalating, our friend M. then phones up the Army and asks for their help. Military police come and order these unruly people to stop their illegal activity. They leave, but only for a few hours: they return the next day and it starts all over again. So M. now has another chore in his busy daily schedule: to phone the Israeli military police every day, for the sake of peace and quiet in his village.

OLIVE HARVEST. The usual seasonal period is October 1 to November 10. This year, in Sinjil it will start in 1 week. They think this year it won’t be as plentiful as last year. I ask whether they need any help. M. says yes, he needs a buffer group to keep peace. He expects the harvest to be a very hard time this year. Mainly because, as we all know, in protest to the announced annexation program, the Palestinian Athority broke off all relations with Israel. So there is no cooperation, no DCOs are available. That is, no buffer group to keep the settlers from attacking or threatening to attack the harvesters with firearms.

So M. has been trying to call in international groups like the Red Cross to ensure that farmers can harvest their olives safely. But no one dares come to this dangerous area.

I promised to ask the Harvest Coalition to send them volunteers.

He and his wife both thanked me very much, and asked me to phone and tell them whether vounteers will come.