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Settlers Attack Awarta Land

What is affected
Land Private
Communal
Type of violation Demolition/destruction
Date 15 March 2011
Region MENA
Country Palestine
City Awarta village, West Bank

Affected persons (number & composition)

Total 0
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
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Demolition/destruction
Land losses

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Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

State
Settlers
Brief narrative

Awarta: Bulldozers Plow Land, Israelis Set Up Temporary Houses, Free Treatment Offered 15.03.11 Nablus – PNN - In Awarta, south of Nablus, Israeli forces bulldozed Palestinian-owned lands on the village’s northeast side and settlers set up at least two temporary dwellings in the area. The Palestinian Ministry of Health offered free treatment to the villagers, who have been under a general curfew and with severely reduced access to basic necessities for four days. Awarta lies directly below the illegal settlement of Itamar, which witnessed the brutal murder of five Jewish settlers—including a three-month-old baby—on Saturday. Israeli officials have blamed Palestinian terrorists for the attack and have carried out massive security crackdowns across the northern West Bank, focusing especially on Awarta. Yesterday, Awarta’s four schools were closed and reports circulated about all the village’s men being taken in for questioning. At least one school was turned into a interrogation center, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Education. Bulldozing operations on Tuesday morning cleared a “wide area of cultivated land,” according to Palestinian state-run news wire Wafa, including olive trees. The Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Fathi al-Mughli, announced that villagers would receive free teatment from the Ministry starting on Tuesday. Dr. Khaled Qadri, the Director of Health in Nablus, said that Israeli troops stopped ambulance workers from entering the village for a number of hours on Monday. Yesterday the Israeli government announced its intent to construct 400 new illegal settlement units in the West Bank in response to the Itamar attack. Meanwhile, Wafa reported that rumor has circulated that the perpetrator of the attack was not a Palestinian, but a Thai worker offered money to execute the family. Nablus Governor Major General Jibreen al-Bakri described the situation in Awarta as “collective punishment.” Palestinian medical sources said Israeli troops smashed medicine cabinets and scattered pills on the ground during invasions of Awarta on Sunday and Monday. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9709&Itemid=56 Three injured as Israeli army attacks Awarta Tuesday, 15 March 2011 Samar Mohaisen West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Three citizens were injured Monday evening due to severely beating by settlers who stormed civilians’ homes in the village of Awarta in the south of Nablus city. Witnesses told Safa News Agency that a group of settlers raided the village and attacked a Palestinian family with sticks and stones leaving two wounded, one of them suffered serious injuries. Witnesses added that another one belonged to Abu Shawish family was wounded during Israeli violent raid. Israeli forces have blockaded Awarta village for more than four days following the murder of five settlers in the illegal settlement Itamar. Israeli forces also bulldozed agricultural lands and uprooted dozens of olive trees as they still increased their military operation and restrictions preventing citizens from moving to their destinations. Many Palestinian families suffered a great shortage in food, milk, and bread. Local sources confirmed that 100 Palestinians were arrested from the village after raiding and searching their homes, adding that army sometimes detained the whole family including children and women. Other families were force to stay outside in cold. http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/west-bank/8699-three-injured-as-israeli-army-attacks-awarta.html Awarta Under Seige Settler violence escalates as the military occupies and raids villages Palestine Monitor Palestine Monitor , March 14, 2011 International Solidarity Movement activists in Awarta describe a horrific "collective punishment" of the Palestinian village: children taken from school, homes raided, imposition of a 24-hour curfew, constant drone surveillance, and massive imprisonments of the male population. "The soldiers have locked us with the children and young men and are guarding me now," said an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We can’t leave the house and right now we can’t even leave this room." Awarta has become a ghost town, with all the villagers confined to their homes, running out of gas, scared and crying quietly under the buzz of drones and detonations of sound bombs. "The soldiers take people in every house. I don’t know how many hundreds of people they’ve taken now. The children are scared, of course. The women are crying. They take their sons and fathers away. All the village is very quiet, people can’t really talk, the children have to be quiet," the member said. After gathering some of them from school, Awarta’s boys and men were taken by soldiers to the jail near Huwara. "Here they are collectively punished." ISM reports that the military has beaten people, cut off electricity and polluted water lines, and broken computers and phones. 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They have stoned cars on roads around Hebron, Kiryat Arba, Shiloh, Huwarra and Nablus, and two nights ago destroyed a nursery, a building, and smashed windows in Huwara. Yesterday, settlers torched four cars near the junction towards Yitzhar. Down the road at Adam’s Burger King restaurant and confectionery, the owner was locking up a dusk yesterday. "Last night we did not sleep," the owner said. He described a dark, fearful night of listening to the synchronized mosques’ speakers blaring warnings down the valley. A caravan of settlers from the funeral of the killed Itamar family was returning soon, and the village feared a restless night of waiting to be attacked. "We’d rather be open till midnight or one, but we’re closing," he said as his businesses’ iron shutters squeaked shut. A rock flew out from a passing car with yellow license plates, quickening his work. "Be careful, move your car. They are crazy. Things are bad, very bad." Across the street lays a ruined construction project. The night before, settlers had come and ravaged the site, tearing down walls, breaking material and causing thousands of dollars-worth of damage. "They are terrorists," Ismael said, holding broken marble slabs, standing on a pile of ruined construction material estimated to be worth $3,000. "Every year it is worse in the West Bank," said Mohammad Hassan, a Huwara resident whose house, the closest to the Yitzhar outposts, is guarded by a small Israeli squad. "If the situation stays like this, it will be ten time as crazy." "This is forever, believe me," said Hassan. "I wish we could live in peace together but if they don’t take the settlers out of the West Bank we will never come to peace with Israel or the settlers." Across the valley, Maan News Agency reported that soldiers roamed Awarta yesterday with loudspeakers blaring a call for all 15-40 year-olds to gather at the local school, where the Palestinian New Network reported 12 were arrested. More than a dozen settlers in white masks entered Jinsafout last night, incinerated a car to its chassis, and attempted to burn a tractor. Two more cars were reported burnt just north of Ramallah. So far, Awarta has not witnessed any settler violence, perhaps because of the leadership of their neighbors from Itamar. While announcing plans to build a new residential area in the settlement named after slain patriarch and rabbi Udi Fogel, [the settlers expressed to Haaretz a complete denial of reprisal attacks against Palestinians- http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/residents-of-itamar-settlement-price-tag-isn-t-even-part-of-our-lexicon-1.349096]. "People who know us ask us why we’ve come to study with all the crazies, but that’s rubbish. There is an extremist group in the area, they are reactionary, and their photographs are always printed in the papers," Brooker adds. "But understand: ’price tag,’ demonstrations, it’s not even a part of our lexicon. Never has been, never will be." But the ISM member trapped in Awarta drew a different conclusion. "The military does such a good job - the settlers doesn’t need to be here." More and more settlements After the funeral for the killed Fogel family, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu approved expansions in Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, and Kiryat Sefer with 500 new buildings. "It’s not because of a particular terrorist attack that we will build a few more houses in [Gush Etzion] or in Maaleh Adumim," said Elyakim Levanon, a rabbi from Elon Moreh. "Rather, we have to convene at our own initiative and decide where and how we want to build; this is our land and our country." "We have to stop once and for all with this nonsense about `illegal outposts’," Levanon said on the temporary postponement yesterday of his new position as Samaria’s first Chief Rabbi. "This is our home and our inheritance, and we must continue building, and Itamar must become a city and a new center in the [northern West Bank]." :: Article nr. 75868 sent on 14-mar-2011 22:06 ECT www.uruknet.info?p=75868

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