Israeli Army Chases Farmers Off their Land near Hebron

HEBRON, November 15, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settler guards, protected by Israeli army forces, Sunday attacked and chased Palestinian olive pickers off their land, located near the town of Beit Ummar to the north of Hebron, according to local sources.

Mohammad Awad, spokesman of the Anti-Settlement Commission in the town, told WAFA that settler guards, backed by Israeli forces,  from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Ein, ordered local Hammad Salibi and his family to leave their land at gunpoint.

Shortly after the family was ordered to leave the land, soldiers chased and attacked them with teargas and stun grenades to force them out of their private-owned land.

According to al-Haq Human Rights center, Israel imposes restrictions on Palestinian farmers who want to access the olive groves located in proximity to settlements or behind the Annexation Wall.

“Palestinian farmers are required to apply for permits in order to be allowed entry into their own land. Palestinians are often denied permits or granted insufficient time to adequately tend their land; these restrictions often become more severe during olive harvest season,” said the center.

In addition, during the harvest season, Palestinian farmers are often subjected to harassment and attacks by Israeli settlers, including the destruction, damage, and burning of olive trees.

Israel continues to deny Palestinians their fundamental right to self-determination, including the principle of sovereignty over land and natural resources, depriving them from their means of livelihoods, in contradiction to Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), said al-Haq in a story published in November 2014.

“Under international humanitarian law and as stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel has an obligation not to restrict the right to work of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” added the center.

“The Annexation Wall and the permit system amongst other measures and policies applied by Israel prevent Palestinians’ right to movement which seriously impacts their livelihoods,” said al-Haq.