7 November 2009
On Saturday 7 November the residents of Iraq Burin, a small village outside Nablus, once again had their weekend disrupted by settlers and the Israeli army. During the day settlers from the nearby illegal settlement came down close to the village in a provocative act. The scenario that followed was the same as the previous two Saturdays – settler attack followed by an army invasion. During the invasion that lasted about one hour, the army shot teargas and live ammunition inside the village.
Because of similar events of settler and army violence in the last two weekends, the Palestinians have called for international activists to be present in the village on Saturday morning. At around 2.30pm, five settlers from the illegal settlement Bracha appeared close to the village, scaring and provoking the villagers. Three young men from the village approached the settlers in an attempt to make them leave the land. After the settlers refused to leave, the two groups started throwing stones at each other. At this point, nine Israeli soldiers who were posted nearby intervened. While the Palestinians returned to the village as soon as the army appeared, instead of making the settlers leave or just keeping watch from a distance, which would have lead to less violence, the army chose to invade the village. Young men from the village responded with stones, after which the army started shooting teargas canisters and live ammunition, moving further and further inside the village.
At one point some of the soldiers went up to a house inside the village and violently smashed a window when the owners did not open the door. The frightened family, including three young children, then opened and were forced to evacuate from the house and stand on the street while the soldiers stayed in the house.