On Friday morning activists from SFP went to the village of Urif, just south of Nablus to plant olive trees. While planting the trees they were under constant watch by the Israeli Army, which gathered in numbers on the overlooking hill, which is the location of the illegal settlement of Yitzhar.
As activists moved on to the second location in their tree planting campaign, large numbers of soldiers began to descend the hill and enter the village in an attempt to intimidate activists and villagers. Both stood firm together, in determination to plant their land.
Urif is one of six villages which are surrounded by the illegal settlements of Bracha to the north and Yitzhar to the south. They house some of the most violent criminal settlers, which terrorize the villagers on a daily basis. In 2008 villagers from neighbouring Asira al Qibliya were attacked by Yitzhar in an incident captured on film. The attack showed the settlers ransacking through the village, firing live ammunition at terrified villagers. When their ammunition had run out the film showed Israeli soldiers passing the settlers their weapons.
This sort of terrorism is common place for the villagers, with the settlers attempting to steal more and more of their land. Particularly vulnerable in Urif is the land directly behind their main water pump station, which the settlers have been trying to steal for some time.
SFP is continuing to support farmers and villagers by planting olive trees. Due to the demand and popularity of the campaign we are also going to expand it to plant zatar, a Palestinian herb. We are very grateful to all our donors but we would ask people to please consider continuing to donate. We want to help more villages and return to those villages we have already helped to expand the campaign and reclaim back all the land. Please click here for details on how to donate.