After complaints by settlers, the agricultural work of a Palestinian farmer from the village Urif was stopped by Israeli army forces despite the fact that he was working in Area B where coordination with Israeli security forces is not required.
The farmer came Friday morning to his land below the Israeli outpost of Yitzhar. His work was soon disrupted by the settlement security coordinator of the outpost (a civilian) along with a few soldiers. According to Palestinians who were in the area, the security coordinator went down and demanded the stoppage of the work, yelling that the Palestinians must be removed from the land. Unfortunately, the farmer was not able to complete his required work.
It is important to note that two days earlier, the Israeli coordinating authority confirmed the farmer’s right to work on his land in that area. This confirmation was received because the last time the farmer came to this area to plough he was expelled by Israeli forces claiming that he worked without coordinating with the security forces. As a result of that event, a representative of the coordinating committee surveyed the land and determined it is indeed Area B and that there is no need for coordinating agricultural work in it, as it is under the civil control of the Palestinians. Zakaria Sadah, Rabbis for Human Rights’ field worker, assisted in communicating with the security forces to stop the expulsions and allow the work to continue.
In response, Rabbis for Human Rights’ legal department sent a letter [Hebrew] to the army demanding answers as to why this Palestinian farmer was denied access to his land in Area B.
Photos by Zakaria Sadah of Rabbis for Human Rights