Question of Palestine home
Pratiques israéliennes/Colonies - Lettre de Jordanie
29 June 1987
Item 76 of the preliminary list*
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO
INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING
THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE POPULATION OF
THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Letter dated 29 June 1987 from the Permanent Representative of Jordan
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I am sending you the most recent information on Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories during the months of April and May 1987. This activity includes the confiscation of Arab land for the implemention of Israeli settlement plans aimed at expelling the Arab inhabitants from their land and taking it over,
which violates the principles of international law relating to military occupation and, in particular, the Hague Convention of 1907 and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
I need not stress the danger of the continuation of such a policy for international peace and security and for the prospects for peace in the region.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under item 76 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Abdullah SALAH
Israeli settlement activities, confiscation of Arab land and attacks against Arab citizens
and their property during the months of April and May 1987
Activities involving confiscation of land and attacks against Arab citizens during the month of April
The Israeli military authorities confiscated over 550 dunums of land in the village of Dura (Hebron district), belonging to the following families: Dudin, Sharif, Amr, Abu Muqaddam and Natche. The confiscated land is registered in
(land registry) certificates and is located in Khallat Sanja and Khallat Manaa in bloc No. 5 and Khallat al-Hijrah, Sahlat al-Hijrah and Shu'bat Khatf in bloc No.6.
1. Settlers at the Betar Alit settlement, located above land belonging to the village of Husan and Wadi Fukin (Bethlehem district), denied Palestinian farmers access to their agricultural land, which is adjacent to the settlement. The settlers provoked the farmers
2. Some Jewish religious fanatics defiled a chamber in the monastery built at the site of the tree from which Christ 's cross was made. This is one of the holiest Christian and Greek Orthodox sites in the world. After they had defiled the holy chamber, the Greek Patriarch ordered the site closed.
3. Muhammad Salman al-Atrash and Halima Ibrahim Salman, widow of the late Namir Husain al-Ajuri, both citizens from Bayt Ula (Hebron district) were injured during a clash between citizens of the village and Israeli settlers who had tried to seize the citizens' sheep and goats.
4. The Israeli newpaper
rported on 7 April 1987 that settlers following the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane had been responsible for unprecedented acts of disorder in the town of Halhul, located north of the city of Hebron. The settlers attacked the town and closed the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron, halting traffic for a long time, and then stormed into the town, smashing the windscreens of Arab cars, slashing their tyres and throwing stones at the windows of Arab shops and solar-heating systems. They destroyed six vehicles belonging to citizens of the town.
5. On 7 April 1987, Israeli bulldozers - guarded by military troops - destroyed the house of the citizen Muhammad Musa Hasan Mashhur, located in the Tarrarat district, near the Neot Adumim settlement in the village of As-Sawahira ash-Sharqiyah, on the pretext that the house was located close to the settlement and constituted a nuisance to its residents.
6. Settlers from Betar Alit, which is close to the village of Husan, surrounded the house of the family of Sub hi Sa'id Shawsha, broke down its doors and windows with iron bars and destroyed its crops. The people of the village clashed with the extremist settlers, resulting in injuries to two of the villagers: Muhammad Ali Mahmud, who was hit in the face, and Ali Isma'il Khalil, who was injured in the eye and nose.
7. Radio Israel reported that some 600 settlers arrived in Qalqilya on the night of 10 April and carried out widespread acts of sabotage and arson against fields, orchards and vehicles. They also smashed the windows of a number of houses. The Israeli forces imposed a curfew on the village of Hablah and part of Qalqilya and detained a number of Arab youths. The Minister of Defence ordered the Israeli army to uproot the trees on both sides of the road.
8. A large number of settlers attacked a plant nursery owned by the citizen Hamdallah Umar Mutawi Awda, from Hablah (Tulkarm district) and burned down the shop containing all the agricultural equipment valued at 200 Jordanian dinars. The settlers also uprooted a large number of pepper plants and roses, the value of which was estimated at 400 Jordanian dinars.
9. On 25 April 1987, a curfew was imposed on the village of Kafr Laqif (Qalqilya district) for a period of four hours following an incident between some 100 residents of the village and residents of the Ganon Shomron settlement, after the settlers had prevented Arab residents from working on their land on the Jewish sabbath.
10. The Israeli newspaper
reported on 14 April 1987 that leaders of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank had held an extraordinary meeting at the Alfe Menasheh settlement, during which they called for the formation of a committee of inquiry to study Israeli security policy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is their intention to set up a centre for the establishment of new Jewish settlements, even if they have to do 80 without the agreement of the Israeli Government. The settlers' leaders called for the immediate establishment of the six Jewish settlements which the Government had already decided to establish, as well as for the closure of Arab newspapers operating in East Jerusalem, the deportation of editors of such newspapers, the closure of other Palestinian enterprises in occupied Arab Jerusalem, the closure of West Bank universities and the imposition of a minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment on individuals who throw stones. The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, said that settlement activities in the West Bank must be stepped up following the recent "security" incidents. Shamir made his remarks during an inspection tour of the Alfe Menasheh settlement, during which he promised the settlers an improvement in the security situation.
11. It was announced in Tel Aviv on 28 April 1987 that the Israeli authorities with responsibility for settlement affairs intended to build houses on the mountains stretching north from the historic Solomon's Pools district. Israeli bulldozers have begun to lay a road through the hills south-east of Bethlehem, across land owned by citizens of the village of Khadr (Bethlehem district). The road connects with a dirt road leading to the Israeli settlement of Efrat, located on the Jerusalem-Hebron road.
12. The youth Akram Al-Muhtasib was semi-paralysed on 17 April 1987 as a result of being shot by guards from Kiryat Arba while on his way home. Four bullets penetrated his spinal column and pierced both lungs.
13. On 20 April 1987, three armed settlers from Gush Katif kidnapped the 8-year-old child Raid Azzam al-Maghribi from his house in the Bureij camp in Gaza and made their escape in a Peugeot vehicle. They were arrested late at night by the police and then released on bail. The bail was paid by Knesset member Hayim Druckman, from the Religious 'Zionism Party (Morashah), which protested over the arrest of the three settlers.
14. On 25 April 1987, some 50 settlers from the Kiryat Arba settlement attacked the Ibrahimi Shrine, chanted slogans and distributed pamphlets calling for an increase in settlement throughout the West Bank.
Settlement and confiscation of land during the month of May
- A new settlement called Kibbutz Har Emasheh, on the southern slopes of Hebron, was dedicated on 17 May 1987. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Israeli Government, the Jewish Agency of the World Zionist Organization and the Hetikem kibbutz movement.
This kibbutz is located in the area of the Green Line, at a distance of 600 metres from the Line. It is inhabited by 45 young soldiers, all of whom are doing their military service for the Israeli army. They were formerly members of the Netzanim settlement nucleus.
The Jewish Agency's Negev District Director, Aldo Jason, said during the dedication ceremony that planning was now under way for the establishment of three further settlements in the area.
The leaders of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank announced that they were working on the establishment of a new settlement near the village of Haris north of the Mozeh Shomron road.
The settlement which the settlers intend to establish will be called the settlement of "Raviveh". This is the settlement which the Settlement Affairs Committee of the Israeli Cabinet decided to establish and which was approved by the Supreme Committee on Construction and Organization, with the endorsement of the members of the Mi'rakh bloc.
On 27 May 1987, the newspaper
reported that the leaders of the settlers were now striving for the establishment of this settlement near Mozeh Shomron road, with the consent of all the ministers in the present Israeli Government and were seeking also to establish between six and eight other Jewish settlements in the near future.
The Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip region decided to announce the formation of a "body" in the Gaza Strip to administer what they called their "political struggles". They named this body the "Political Committee". The new political leadership comprises 11 members, representing all the Jewish settlements in the region, under the chairmanship of the Jewish settlement leader Reuven Rosenblatt, the President of the Settlement Council for the Gaza Coast.
The Political Committee called upon the Israeli Government to increase settlement efforts in the Gaza Strip and to establish two new settlements, which were mentioned in the coalition agreement on which the present coalition Government in Israel is based. They are the settlement of Woghit north of Gaza City and the settlement of Van Sedeh in the Gush Katif region.
- The Military Recourse Committee endorsed the decision of the military authorities to confiscate an area of 17 dunums of the land of the citizen Muhammad Yusuf Bileh, an inhabitant of the village of Al-Funduq. The land forms part of the lands of the village of Immatin. The Committee rejected the objection to the confiscation decision submitted to it by the owner of the land, and the land was annexed to the settlement of Immanu'al to serve as a site for factories.
- The Israeli military authorities confiscated 300 dunums planted with fruit-bearing olive-trees in the village of Jinsafut, which was the property of the heirs of Abd al-Hafiz Abd al-Salam and the heirs of his brother Muhammad Abd al-Hafiz. A number of previous attempts had been made to take over this land, which is located on the main road between Qalqilya and Nablus.
- An Israeli company confiscated the land of the citizen Namir Muhammad Abu al-Abbasi of Silwan. This involved a total area of 160 dunums, part of it located in the Jabal al-Mukabbir region.
- The Israeli newspaper
reported on 9 May 1987 that the military authorities were currently planning to confiscate an area of 2,000 dunums of the land of Bayt Ula. Three hundred people went out from the village to the area threatened with confiscation, which lay 4 kilometres from the centre of the village. There they held prayers in protest. The land threatened with confiscation lies parallel to the Green Line.
A number of heads of Israeli settlements in the northern part of the West Bank, particularly from the settlements of Alfe Menasheh and Ariel, gathered together on 10 May 1987 and decided to establish a regional council comprising the heads of the Israeli settlements located on both sides of the Green Line. It is reported that the Israeli Government is encouraging the establishment of settlers' councils in the territories occupied in 1967 and is providing officials there with light machine-guns and other military supplies.
The Israeli authorities fenced in lands near the Israeli settlement of Betar Alit, which was established on the lands of the villages of Wadi Fukin and Husan (Bethlehem district) early this year. The inhabitants of the villages laid that the fencing operation had taken in new land belonging to inhabitants of the village of Wadi Fukin, who expressed their objection to the annexation of portions of their land to the above-mentioned settlement.
Israeli army forces and settlers uprooted some 6,000 trees of various kinds, including olive-trees and almond-trees, from the land of the village of Husan (Bethlehem district), at the site of Shu'ab Khreyan, adjoining the confiscated land on which the settlement of Hadar Betar was established. The owner of the land, Abd Muhammad al-Uraydi, said that the attack on his land, which covered an area of 2,000 dunums, had taken place while he had been at the headquarters of the Military Government in the town of Bethlehem, to which he had been summoned in order to be informed of an order prohibiting him from farming his land. Israeli forces arrested the owner of the land and his wife and two daughters on the charge of attempting to prevent Israeli troops from uprooting the trees.
Attacks by settlers against citizens and Arab land during the month of May
- Owners of land in the village of Taqu' (Bethlehem district) reported that officials from the Provincial Organization Department and Israeli army forces entered their land, known as "Rakhamat", and uprooted from 2,500 olive-tree seedlings. The area of the land is approximately 150 dunums, and it belongs to Mahmud al-Hajj Auni Jibril, Muhammad Ahmed Jibril, Abd al-Ali Jibril and Ali Muhammad Ahmad Hamdan Jibril.
- Israeli bulldozers belonging to the Mekorot Water Company uprooted large numbers of olive- and almond-trees in the village of As-Sawahira ash-Sharqiyah on the pretext of building a road. These trees belonged to the citizen Muhammad Husayn Surur of As-Sawahira ash-Sharqiyah.
- Unidentified persons made an attack on the land of the citizen Muhammad Ibrahim Hamid of the village of Azzun (Tulkarm district) and uprooted 12 olive-tree seedlings. The land is situated near the settlement of Qarney Shomron.
- Unknown persons made an attack on citrus-trees in the village of Jayyus (Tulkarm district) . The owner of the trees was the citizen Muhammad Salih Nawfal. It is reported that the village witnessed a number of similar incidents caused by settlers.
- On 3 May 1987, settlers from Eli Sinai and Nesanit uprooted some fruit-bearing trees from farms in the village of Bayt Lahya (Gaza Strip) and then left in their automobiles without being subjected to any questioning by the Israeli police.
- The settlers of Gush Katif sent telegrams to the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir and to the Minister of Defence and the Commander of the Southern District calling for the uprooting of all the trees in a plantation located on the main road, on the pretext that it was used as a cover for the launching of explosive charges in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces subsequently killed a Palestinian youth when he did not comply with army orders when summoned to stop.
The settlers declared that they would uproot the trees themselves if the Israeli forces failed to do so.
- The Buildings Inspection Sub-Committee sent notices to the citizens Tawfiq Abd Abu Umar, Abd al-Karim Khamis and Muhammad Ahmad Gharib, residents of the Dheisheh refugee camp, ordering them to stop building work on their houses and to destroy within 15 days what they had already completed, although, as is known, the camp area does not fall within the competence of the organization committees but comes under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
- Dozens of armed Jewish settlers from the settlements of Qarney Shomron, Jinat Shomron and Qedumim burst into the streets of Qalqilya on the evening of 5 May 1981, following an attack on an Israeli automobile, and gathered in the settlement of Alfe Menasheh after passing through a barrier of Israeli forces, who made no effort to prevent them. The settlers, shouting: "Death to Arabs", fired in the direction of citizens' homes and wrecked shops in the town. They also hurled stones and empty bottles at houses, smashed all the cars in the street and attacked Arab citizens. The organization of this anti-Arab demonstration was supervised by the extremist settlers ' movement Gush Emunim.
- Yitzhak Shamir, the Israeli Prime Minister, called for an intensification of settlement in all parts of the West Bank, when addressing the settlers of Allon Moreh on 2, May.
- An Israeli military source reported that a number of settlers broke into the main court in the Cave of the Patriarchs at the Ibrahimi Shrine in Hebron and tossed the prayer rug about.
- On 23 May, one Jewish extremist abducted the seven-and-a-half-year-old child of Awni Muhammad Awni Sayyam of Silwan and beat him, wounding him in the head and in the right hand. The abduction took place while the child was with his grandmother and stater sister near the Walling Wall, as they were returning from the Masjid al-Aqsa. Radio Israel claimed that the Jewish youth was insane; but it became evident that he was a soldier from the Frontier Guards forces.
- A group of settlers, accompanied by occupation troops, broke into some houses in the village of Mashah (Nablus district) and detained the owners of houses near the main road until late in the night, on the pretext that the settlers' automobiles had been stoned while travelling on the road that ran past the village.
- On 26 May 1987, two Arab citizens from the town of Khan Yunis (Gaza Strip) submitted a complaint to the Israeli police authorities about a beating administered by Jewish settlers from the settlement of Mitzpeh Atzmoneh near Rafah, stating that they had been subjected to bodily harm.
Some Jewish youths stoned a number of automobiles in the Gaza Strip as they travelled along the road to Bir as-Rabu', which lies opposite the settlement of Netivot. A number of the inhabitants of Netivot attacked Arab workers in the Iqfiya factory with violent blows. This occurred after the funeral of the Israeli settler who was killed in Gaza.
- Two Israeli settlers travelling in an automobile bearing Israeli plates stoned a Peugeot automobile driven by the citizen Muhammad Husayn Salim Hajjajah of the village of Taqu' (Bethlehem district) on the morning of 24 May as he was driving through the Ushsh Arrah area. This caused a smashing of the windscreen and other material damage to the car.