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Settlers attack Nablus-area village of Burin

13 September 2009

Settlers set fire to Burin property

Settlers set fire to Burin property

On the evening of Sunday 13 September at approximately 21:00 masked settlers from the illegal settlement of Bracha, armed with guns, set alight tyres and sprayed gasoline on the roof of a house under construction in the village of Burin just south of Nablus. Palestinians in neighbouring homes saw the blaze and retreating settlers and called the local fire brigade who came to extinguish the flames.

International activists then joined local Palestinians in a 24 hour vigil of the house which has come under constant attack since the beginning of its construction a year go. At 2am in the morning international activists and Palestinians witnessed two settlers on the upper Burin road near to the home. The group managed to chase the settlers away before any damage was done. At 4.30am 2 settlers again approached the home and were seen throwing stones before being chased from the scene.

The Israeli District Coordinating Office and 4 jeeps attended the scene on each occasion and stated that they would be stationing a jeep near the illegal settlement to prevent further attacks. Despite the jeep being on the ridge just below the illegal outpost settlers continued to attack several times during the night.

In the early hours of Thursday 10 September the home of local Burin resident, Bruce Lee, suffered the first arson attack by masked settlers and just one year previously settlers had attacked the newly built foundations of the home.

On Monday 14 September international activists were joined by members from the International Women’s Peace Service and a constant watch has been maintained by locals and internationals until the concrete roof and supporting wooden beams is set and therefore less vulnerable to attack.

The village of Burin and its surrounding neighbours have been subject to numerous violent attacks from the two illegal settlements of Bracha and Yitzhar that sandwich the local Palestinian villages. Only on Wednesday 9 September, the neighbouring villages of Asira al Qibliya and Urif were attacked by armed, masked settler youth. On Tuesday 15 September armed settlers shot and brutally attacked local shepherds from the village of Einabus just below the illegal settlement of Yitzhar.

Burin village has also lost thousands of dunams of land planted with olive trees due to settlers burning the land and in 2006 settlers from the illegal settlement of Bracha fired homemade rockets on the village burning a house down.

Settlements are illegal under international law and both settlements have numerous outposts that continue to annex further Palestinian land in violation of both Israeli and international law.