UAWC calls for urgent international intervention to protect agricultural land and farmers from settler violence
Since the beginning of the year, settler attacks on Palestinians and their property, particularly farmers, have been on the rise. While Palestinians were preparing for Eid al-Fitr holiday on the fifth of June, a group of settlers disrupted their celebrations by burning down 300 dunums of agricultural land in the village of Jalud, south of the city of Nablus, destroying 1000 olive trees that are 65 years old!
On May 17, settlers set fire to agricultural fields in Burin and ’Asira al-Qibliya villages in Nablus. At the same time, settlers also attacked the village of al-Mughayyir in the Ramallah governate. As a result, on January 26, Hamdi al-Naasan was killed when defending his village from heavily armed settlers.
The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that settler violence and attacks against Palestinians and their property nearly has trippled in the year 2018, to reach 482 attacks as compared to 140 attacks in 20171.
In a similar vein, the Israeli organization, B'Tselem, stressed that settler violence against Palestinians has long been an integral aspect of the Israeli occupation. Security forces permit these attacks, thereby endangering the lives of Palestinians, harming their property and lands. Furthermore, such violence often results in the appropriation of more Palestinian land throughout the West Bank, enabling greater Israeli control of the West Bank and over its resources2.
Palestinian estimates specify that the number of settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is more than 650,000, living in about 196 settlements and 120 settlement outposts established on confiscated Palestinian land. The Israeli right-wing government further plans to increase the number of settlers in the coming years to reach one million settlers.
UAWC call on the friends of the Union around the world in various institutions and social movements, specifically La Via Campesina, to raise their voice against this systemic terrorism committed against a defenseless Palestinian population. The international community is urged to support the right of our people to freedom and self-determination, equal to rest of the world. Lastly, the international community should exert pressure on Israel to prohibit its settlement policy and settlement expansion, and abide by the Security Council resolution 2334 passed on the 23rd of December 2016 which ‘calls upon an immediate halt to all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories’.
Union of Agricultural Work Committees