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The Many Faces of Ethnic Cleansing and Land Grab

06 March 2024 | International Solidarity Movement | Masafer Yatta


A few days ago, villagers of Khallet Adabaa stood at the edge of their village and watched two illegal Israeli settlers driving on motorbikes up and down the hills surrounding the village – all of it private Palestinian land. Earlier in the day, settlers from the same nearby settlement of Mitzpe Yair kidnapped two Palestinian men from Khallet Adabaa. The settlers attacked the two men while they were working on their land, shot at them from a close distance, and took them to their settlement.

Illegal settlers on motorbikes on Palestinian land. @ISM


While the people of Khallet Adabaa waited for the news of the kidnapped men, settlers started to loudly riding adventure dirt bikes around the village over land they had just barred the Palestinians from working on.

Last week armed settlers in self-made military uniforms from the settlement Ha’vot Ma’on near A-Tuwani drove Palestinian shepherds from their lands in Humra. In the afternoon, in full view from the shepherds houses, a jogger crossed their lands from one settlement to another –and later, young settlers undressed and bathed in a Palestinian watering hole.

Settler jogging. @ISM

Settler bathing in a Palestinian watering hole. @ISM

Two weeks ago, settlers from Avigail kidnapped two men from Um Dhorit, and next morning, a settler youth paraded through the nearby villages on a horse.

The occupation forces project of ethnic cleansing and land grab plays out in ways beyond directly violent attacks. It is also enforced through sinister though mundane acts of indirect violence when settlers exploit Palestinian land for everyday activities, made possible by the firearms they carry, and always backed up by military, police force, and Israeli courts and politicians.

Settler youth parading through Palestinian villages. @ISM