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Urif: Live Ammunition

The Palestinian village of Urif.
The school is a three-story structure located on the top of the hill.

For this picture and more of the village of Urif go to:
Leaving Burin, an MPTer and Zakirayia, Palestinian contact, drove to the village of Urif, perhaps a distance of 15 miles. Urif is located south of Burin on the other side of the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar. The United Nations map demonstrates much better the land sizes of the Israeli settlements and the Palestinian villages than the map located below, but it was impossible to copy to the blog. [For the UN map of the same area see:


Fauzi, the head of the Village Council of Urif, warmly welcomed MPT.

Fauzi, the head of the Urif Village Council, welcomed the MPTer and Zakirayia into his office saying that he welcomed all human rights and peace groups who could witness the attacks the villagers of Urif suffer at the hands of the Israelis. Deployed Israeli ammunition was displayed on a table. This had been collected after an attack two weeks ago by Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzar. Sixteen villagers were injured in this attack. [Notice that live bullets were used, in the midst of a civilian population, including women and children.]

An array of ammunition, clearly marked in Hebrew as Israeli. Several of these are tear gas canisters which have killed on impact. Others are sound bombs. There is also live ammunition.

A close up of bullet shells and live bullets found after the attack.
Not included here are the bullets left in doors and walls inside homes and elsewhere in the village.

-->An office assistant showed the visitors a CD of the attack of April 24th. About thirty settlers came into the edge of the village where the school is located. Fauzi was particularly concerned that settlers attacked near a school. The settlers appeared to be youth, some of whom were armed. The council head said that the village was united in standing against the settlers. The Israeli occupation army was called in to stop the incursion of the settlers, but instead protected the settlers. The array of used ammunition was from the Israeli army. In an attack that lasted about three hours, widows, walls and doors were broken or damaged in homes. One could view bullet holes in the interior walls of homes. Olive trees branches were broken. Sixteen villagers were injured.
The village of Urif has had more than 420 acres of land stolen by the illegal Israeli settlement, Yitzar. Some of the confiscated land is used for settlement housing, but the extension of land outside the actual settlement is left “idle,” for the sake of settler “security.” This “idle land” between the settlement and the village is village land, as is the settlement, but villages are not allowed to farm this “idle land.” The Israeli Court has stated that the Palestinians have a right to work these lands, but the Israeli settlers will not allow Palestinians on the land and do so with impunity.
Fauzi stated that Yitzar was established in 1984. but has now grown to a population of 600. Yitzar has no wall or fence around it since it intends to expand, according to Fauzi. [The UN map indicates that there are outposts – extensions of the original settlement.]
In the past settlers have attacked Urif villagers in their fields, stolen their goats and sheep, broken into their homes, stopped them from harvesting their olives and destroyed their olive trees. Settlers have burned about 300 acres of crops and olive groves and stolen farm equipment, According to Fauzi, two hundred and fifty Urif villagers have been injured by settlers - beaten and shot at - since 2002.
Farmers must work in the fields at given times. If villagers are not allowed in their fields to harvest or to pick their olives when they are ripe, the harvest is lost. Settlers stop Urif villagers from planting, plowing and harvesting on their lands. The village of Urif, as well as the village of Burin would welcome MPTers to be present during the olive harvest.

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