On Friday 16th November, a large group of local Palestinians, together with 7 international Human Rights Workers (HRWs) from ISM, CPT and EAPPI, joined the Jabari family to prepare their land for planting.
The land lies between the two illegal settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha’avot, and has been subject to repeated attacks and attempted takeovers by settlers over a number of years. Examples include cutting down olive trees and uprooting saplings. The actions of the settlers are a clear attempt of evict the family from their land in order to link up the two settlements.
In 2003 the family obtained an order from the Israeli High Court clarifying the family’s legal ownership of the land, and stating that any attempts by the settlers to annex it should cease. Despite this, the family still has not been able to farm their land because of repeated attacks by settlers, often as Israeli soldiers look on.
In addition, the settlers have built a footpath right down the middle of the land and erected a synagogue, with the intention of further extending their illegal claim over it.
The aim of the action was to clear the ground for planting. Although there was a large military presence, work continued for 3 hours, and the presence of international HRWs and media helped deter the settlers from violent behavior on this occasion.