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Einabus: Loss of Land and Livelihood

The visit of the MPTer and Zakiraya, MPT’s Palestinian contact, to the village of Einabus was brief. This village of between two and 3 thousand people is about 8 miles south of Nablus. Einabus lies to the west of Huwwara, but it is difficult to know when one begins and one ends. This is a farming community whose main crops are olives and figs.

Einabus lies just west of Huwwara and south and east of Urif. [It is not labled on this map.


Fauzi Abu Eyad is a member of the Einabus Village Council. His family has lost land to Yitzhar, the illegal Israeli settlement.

Fauzi Abu Eyad, a member of the Einabus Village Council, invited the MPTer and Zakiraya into his home with a refreshing glass of soda. Fauzi briefly explained the situation of Einabus. The illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzar [established in 1984] began once again to extend its area in 2000, taking more land from the farmers of Einabus. The land that was taken became an extension of the settlement, “idle land” which would be “security zone” around the hilltop settlement. In 2003 and 2004, the settlers burned and cut olives trees in this extension. This was a means of further declaring the land theirs or further appropriating it. The settlement increased and the land and livelihood of the village decreased.

The Israeli Court has stated that Palestinian farmers can work these lands, but the Israeli occupying army’s District Coordinating Office [DCO] will not allow the villagers to work these lands. The plowing season extends from after the harvest in October into April, the rainy season. The Palestinian District Liaison Office [DCL] has worked with the DCO since November to get the permission for the villagers of Einabus to plow their lands. The last decision is that after mid-May the plowing can be done. This is very late in the season.

The villagers experience settler attacks. Then the Israel army enters the scene to “protect” the settlers. Olive groves and wheat fields have been burned. The olive tree has always been a target of Israeli aggression on Palestinian land. Destruction of the olive groves is a means of land expropriation and destruction of the livelihood of the Palestinian farmer. Fauzi said his family has land taken by the settlement that he has never been able to go to or to farm. The settlement recently has been bulldozing some of the land in the extension for housing construction. On some of the land, settlers are planting olive trees. There are Israeli occupation army jeeps driving in and out of the village at least fifteen times daily.

Einabus farmer looks at his burned olive grove.[2003]

Rabbis for Human Rights, one of the peace activist groups with whom MPT coordinates, has worked in Einabus. For a vivid account by John Ross, a British journalist, of his experience during the olive harvest in 2003 go to www.theava.com/03/1203-children.html This incident in which both he and Rabbi Arik Ascherman were injured was included in The London International Model United Nations 2009 Human Right Council report. www.limun.org.uk/HRC.pdf

Fauzi said that MPT presence is needed during the olive harvest and during plowing times when attacks by settlers are particularly fierce.

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