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Villagers harassed by Israeli army whilst trying to farm their land

12 February 2011 | International Solidarity Movement

In the village of Jaloud, south of Nablus, around thirty villagers, two internationals, and six Israeli peace activists accompanied farmers to their land to help plant one hundred olive trees. Towards the end of the planting, a settler from the illegal settlement of Shilo came down in a pickup carrying an assault rifle. He contacted the army and, 15 minutes later, two jeeps came down, followed by another three. There were around 25 – 30 soldiers in total, armed with rifles with tear gas canisters, some swinging batons. Soldiers requested that the people move back to the road and agreed to let five people finish planting the trees. Had the Israeli activists and internationals not been there, the weapons may well have been used on the Palestinians.

Villagers try to plant trees near Jaloud

There are illegal settlement outposts all around the village. The farmers of Jaloud have had 16,000 dunams of land seized by settlers and are prevented from farming their land. The small village, which has 600 inhabitants, faces regular harassment from the settlers. There have been reports of settlers walking into the village shooting into the air to frighten the children, stealing animals, going into families’ houses and burning land.

It is expected that the settlers will destroy the trees that were planted.