In late September (see mptinpalestine.blogspot.com/2009/10/burin-tree-massacre.html) settlers from the illegal settlement of Yitzar cut more than 95 trees in one grove of the village. This time, 81 trees had been cut in another grove. Besides causing economic privation to the landowner, such a cruel and senseless act is difficult to comprehend and to view without being reduced to tears. All the spiritual traditions teach respect for Mother Nature and to live in harmony with one’s environment. That the olive tree is the universal symbol of peace makes the violation ever more egregious. The landowner estimates it will take 5 to 10 years for the trees to recover; many may not survive.
The MPTers also visited the home of Palestinians who have been subjected to harassment, rock attacks and home invasion by settlers from Yitzar, just up the hill from them. One afternoon, a week ago, 25 settlers threw stones at the house and water tank, cut the plastic water pipe leading to the house, and harassed the family, leaving only when villagers came to the aid of the family. Soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Army and the District Commissioner’s Office arrived three hours later.
Burned floor from the gasoline set on fire
Not long ago settlers ransacked the house, terrorizing the family. Most of the harassment occurs on the Jewish Sabbath, so that every Friday from sundown until Saturday sundown, the family lives in a state of agitation, the children unable to sleep, everyone anticipating settler violence.
One of the many metal window screens in the house damaged by the settlers
Addressing such violence, the Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, has asserted: "The increase in the incidents in which Israeli citizens harass Palestinians in the area of the village of Burin and the West Bank in general, recently highlights the lack of action on the part of the authorities to contain the basis of Jewish terrorism that has taken hold in those areas. The authorities must act assertively against the violators and bring them to justice." (Ha'aretz, August 15, 2008, Special feature / The land of unchecked settler harassment by Avi Issacharoff).