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Settlers attack Palestinian home in Burin

10 September 2009

In the early hours of Thursday 10 September at approximately 3am, 20 masked settlers came down from the illegal settlement of Bracha near Nablus to a home under construction in the Palestinian village of Burin. The home which is currently under construction had just been furnished with a wooden roof ready for concrete to be poured.

Two local Palestinian boys had been sleeping at the home as it is close to the illegal settlement of Bracha and has been subject to attacks in the past. The boys were awoken by 20 masked settler youths who threw stones at them and threatened them. The Palestinian boys retreated to telephone the owner of the home and alert local international groups.

Upon arriving at the scene the home owner, Bruce Lee, discovered the settlers had sprayed the wooden roof planks with gasoline and ignited it. The Palestinians called the local Burin fire brigade who came and extinguished the fire. The settlers had also smashed the overhead lights around the home.

The local villagers and international activists are now keeping a 24 hour presence at the home until the roof is poured with concrete and therefore less libel for settler damage. One year ago construction on the house had to stop due to constant settler attacks which resulted in some of the foundation beams being damaged and in need of replacement.

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. 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.