Israeli Settlers Stone House of Palestinian Family in Salfit Town

SALFIT, September 8, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Monday night pelted a Palestinian house in Deir Istiya town to the north of Salfit, said a municipal source.

Speaking to WAFA in a phone interview, Head of Deir Istiya Municipal Council Sa‘id Zeidan said settlers hurled stones at a house belonging to Mohammad Abu Zeid, at the northern entrance of the town, spreading panic among Abu Zeid’s family, especially children.

No injuries were reported during the attack.

Although the origins of the village are not clearly documented, an OCHA study indicates that the village was inhabited in the pre-Islamic and pre-Christian era and there are around 20 cemeteries belonging to that period around the village.

Part of the old town dates back to the pre-Canaanite times while another dates back to the Ottoman era. Other parts of the town remain unexcavated. The word ‘Dier’ means monastery. ‘Istiya’ means wall in Aramaic, but in Greek in means military camp.

According to data published by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, 83% of the village total area, corresponding to 28,281 dunums, is classified as area C, where Israel retains full control over security and administration and where building and land management by Palestinian is prohibited unless through Israeli consent.

The other 17% of the town area (corresponding to 5,848 dunums) is classified as area B, where the PA has complete control over civil matters but Israel continues to have overriding responsibility for security. Area B constitutes most of the inhabited Palestinian areas, including municipalities, villages and some refugee camps.

Israel has confiscated12% of the total town area (4,071 dunums) for the establishment of six Israeli settlements; Emmanuel, Karne Shomron, Ginnot Shomeronm, Yakir, Nofim , Revava, and Ma’ale Shomron. A planned wall will separate Deir Istiya town from these settlements, which are inhabited by more than 13,000 Israeli settlers.

Israeli settlers living in these settlements have frequently attacked families in the town and their property, causing Palestinian landlords to lose their lands adjacent to settlements as a result of being denied access to their plots which have been fenced in with barbed wire and planted with trees.

Israeli settlers have also carried out a series of attacks against Palestinian landowners in an attempt to intimidate them and deter them from returning to the lands adjacent to the settlements.

Israeli settlers and forces have frequently harassed local farmers; Israeli settlers continuously discharge their waste water, contaminating underground water sources and streams in the valleys. They deliberately uproot trees planted by local farmers and continue to threaten farmers while tending to their lands.