The Wadada area - settlers plough private Palestinian land

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Mira Balaban (reporting); Translator: Tal H. (from Nasser Nawaj’ah by phone)

Settler violence, settlers attempt to takeover land, arrest of local inhabitants

Already last week, Mohammad reported a phone call he got from the inhabitants of the Wadadah area (south of the Meitarim industrial zone near Zanuta), telling him about a violent clash last Wednesday, February 22.

B’Tselem researcher Nasser Nawaj’ah looked into it and this is the summary of the event:

Last Wednesday, inhabitants of who live near Yinon’s colonist outpost Havat Meitarim, noticed that colonists from the outpost were plowing the land of a family from Samu’. The land is privately owned, including all the necessary documentation. Seven members of the family came to the spot and found about ten colonists turning over the soil in the area by using a bulldozer. Standing beside the colonists were three Israeli soldiers. The land owners from Samu’a tried to stop the colonists. A clash ensued, yells, shoves. The colonists violently attacked the family. The soldiers tried to distance the Palestinian landowners from Samu’. The colonists continued to attack them. One of the Samu’a villagers was beaten in the face and was hurt under his eye.

The end of the confrontation, as usually happens in colonists’ confrontations with local inhabitants: another thirteen soldiers arrived and arrested five Palestinians. None of the colonists were arrested, and Yinon had permission to continue working the land, claiming that this was state land, in spite of the documentation belonging to the landowners of Samu’a. The Palestinian detaineesinfo-icon were taken to an army base bear Amnaizel. They were held there for some hours, then taken to the police station at Kiryat Arba colony, and finally four of them were released on bail, 1000 shekel each. The fifth detainee was not released, and was tried on Sunday, probably at Ofer military court. His sentence is unknown.