Tag archive for "Awarta"

General, Occupied Territories

Recurring Attacks on Palestinian Plowing: March 2013 Report

1 Comment 17 April 2013

“They also placed metal spikes on the ground that punctured the tires of the tractors.” | cc: wikimedia

Rabbis for Human Rights has been in contact throughout the plowing season with Palestinian landowners from the villages Jit, Far’ata, Aimtan, Sara, Tel, Kufr Kadum, Burin, Madma, Hawara, ‘Urif, Ein Abus, Awarta, Beit Furik (above the Itamar settlement), Rujib, Salem, Dir Hatib, Azmut, Sinjil, Karyut, Mahms (near Migron) and Mureir. Despite our repeated requests of Israeli security forces to protect the Palestinian plowing, there is still tremendous disorder. There have been repeated attacks, such as: blocked access to agricultural lands but both settlers and soldiers; attacks by settlers; uprooting and cutting down of trees; attacks on herders; damage to equipment and more. A significant number of farmers are still waiting for approval to enter their lands to plow.

Rabbi Yehiel Greinman Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

Harassments During Harvest, Damaging Fruit Orchards and New Demolition Orders to Hirbet Tuba: Rabbi Yehiel Grenimanns’s Report on Rabbis for Human Rights’ Activities in the OT

No Comments 19 June 2012

No access to Palestinian farmers to their lands.| cc: flickr – Reaper with Sickle (after Millet)  By artanonymous

 A. Wheat Harvest:

    Yanoun: There is a dirt road that leads eastwards in the direction of the Jordan valley. Settlers from one of the outposts of Itamar, apparently “Hill 777″ next to Upper Yanoun (called “the Gidonim” area by the army) attack every Palestinian farmer who attempts to pass. There is no other way to reach 200 dunams of wheat fields in that area. A conversation with the head of the DCO led to an official response that “no one, neither settlers nor Palestinians  will pass there as the area is subject to friction…” but in fact the settlers  frequent the area without problems from the army.

In Awarta the wheat harvest has been completed without any problems. In the village of Farrata they also finished the wheat harvest without incident. In Burin in the area near the Shomron army base, where there have often been problems in past years, the wheat was harvested without interference.

The problems bringing in the harvest in the South Hebron Hills have already been reported elsewhere (fires, attacks, bureaucratic obstacles). Unlike the small gains in the Shomron, the Judea region has seen no improvement in coordination.  Enforcement of Palestinian rights to work the land in area C however, still leaves a lot to be desired throughout the West Bank, as the settlements continue to expand there.

 B. Problems of Access and Vandalism to Trees:

In the village of Dir Amar, next to the Jewish settlements Neriya and Nahniel, Palestinian farmers discovered during a coordinated plowing day on 12th June, 20012 that 60 old olive trees had been damaged, many of them completely cut down. The  suspicion is that the source of this vandalism is from one of the settlements in the area, but since there are so many difficulties coordinating plowing there it is difficult to know when exactly this act of destruction was carried out. Nevertheless, and with our encouragement, a complaint was lodged with the police in Modiim, who sent the owners on to Beth El to produce documents to prove ownership. (This is how the labyrinth of the occupation bureaucracy makes life impossible for these farmers, leading  many to give up any hope of justice.)

New orders to expel shepherds  from the grazing lands east of the Alon road – the area adjacent to the village of Mureir - have been issued. We will investigate the extent of the problem and report back.

In the picture, Clowns Without Borders who will volunteer in summer camps we organize for the Jahalin children

In the picture, Clowns Without Borders who will volunteer in summer camps we organize for the Jahalin children

C. Summer Camps with the Jahalin:

Our preparations for Jahalin summer camps continue. We donated an awning (500 shekels ) for use at the Jabel camp next to Azaria and will soon be purchasing arts and crafts materials. Any earmarked donation for sports equipment or food for the kids (there are 60+) during the camp is very welcome.  The camp, led by a local Bedouin teacher and her sisters,  will run this year from June 24th until July 12th on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m until 12:00 a.m.

We are looking for additional volunteers, preferably youngor youngat heart, Arabic-speaking, with special summer camp skills (arts, music, sports…) to donate their time and energy. Transport will be provided.  For more information and registration contact Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann050-2110639 or Yohanatan Shefa 050-2025997.

There will be another 4 or 5 summer camps running at the same time at Khan El Achmar, Abu Hindi, Anata and possibly Abu Nawahr to which we have been invited to contribute if we have enough resources. These camps are being run by our colleagues from Vienta de Tierra or  the Combini Sisters  with whom we have cooperated over the years. UNRWA, YMCA and “Clowns Without Borders” are also assisting.

We will be looking for volunteers later this summer – end of July and early August to participate in a project in the South Hebron Hills of repair and renewal of water cisterns in the area. Anyone interested in helping please leave contact details at the RHR office by the end of June: telephone 02-6783611 Note: this will entail strenuous early morning physical work.

D. Tuba in South Hebron Hills just received five new Demolition orders (18.6.2012)

General, Occupied Territories

Plowing with army protection on their own lands but not during the “Festival of Freedom”

No Comments 09 April 2012

“Many villages were given four days to complete their plowing before the Jewish holiday and told there would not be security for them to continue plowing during the week of Pesach.” | Illustration – Plough To Propeller  cc: flickr By Martin Pettitt

In most places the plowing has progressed without serious hitches this past week (the week before Pesach). Many villages were given four days to complete their plowing before the Jewish holiday and told there would not be security for them to continue plowing during the week of Pesach. Some contacts such as in El Genia, Awarta, complained that this is not enough time to plow adequately. In El Genia our intervention led to an army promise of more days after the festival, despite an initial threat of “no more days”.

According to our local contact in Awarta there was an incident there last Thursday (5th April) in which three settlers, apparently from Itamar, came down, one with a fierce dog, shooting into the air and attempted to frighten the plowers away. The army was called and their intervention prevented the incident getting out of hand, but the farmers remain reluctant to plow there without any  army protection, which as of this report is no longer scheduled in the area.

wishing all our supporters Happy Pesach and Easter!


General, Occupied Territories

A new police force in the settlements

No Comments 06 December 2011

Graffiti Police Art Design ” Graffiti Banksy “. 2010

A group of jurists and human rights activists, accompanied by Palestinians, was detained this week without authority by settlers and an IDF officer. The police were called,  but did not help the delegation, and its members remained helpless during an unnecessary questioning by an IDF officer.  The settlers started to act as the police and demanded to see the IDs of the delegation members (and indeed photocopied them). Read how the police, IDF and the settlers work together while the rule of law is absent. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

Experiences from the Olive Harvest

No Comments 25 October 2011

Rabbi Yehiel Grenniman Recounts Experiences from the Olive Harvest. Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Ushpizin | Thoughts on Intimacy and Compartmentalization | Injustice at the Harvest

No Comments 18 October 2011

Harvest at Awarta

Parashat Hashavua “Bereshit” | What Will Be | What Was | Torah Thoughts

Following is Dvar Torah for this week’s parasha, Parashat Bereshit, written by Rabbi Dalia Marx. We will be happy if you will join, the coming week, the olive harvest and watch our activities in the Jerusalem encampment (Hebrew). Hag Samech Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

The Achievements and the Difficulties of the Activity to Maintain Human Rights in the OT

4 Comments 30 August 2011

cc: Activstills. Demonstration against the Wall in Al Walaja, 27.06.2011: A group of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals demonstrate in front of Har Gilo settlement in the village of Al Walaja following this week decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to reject petition of Al Walaja residents to change the route of the Wall, 27.06.2011. The march to the settlement was stopped by Israeli soldiers. Four Israeli activists were arrested. Photo by: Anne Paq/Activestills.org
Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann describes the achievements and the difficulties of the activity to maintain human rights in the occupied territories. Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Something is Happening Out There | Rabbis Against Price Tags | Shavuot Thoughts: Human Rights Were Designed For the Real World

No Comments 14 June 2011

Parashat Hashavua “Shlach Lecha”: What Will Be, What Was and Tora Thoughts

Last Wednesday activists of Taayosh (we do not work on Saturdays and holidays) successfully accompanied residents of Um El Chir, a village in South Hebron Hills, to the fields to herd their sheep. Unfortunately, there is a cooperation agreement between Israelis from Karmel settlement, who harass the Palestinian  shepherds, and the army to prevent Um El Chir residents from going out to the fields with their sheep. You can change this  -  by addressing a letter to the Defense Minister, Ehud Barak,  and demand the return of  security to the South Hebron Hills. Please sign our letter.

Shabbat Shalom Continue Reading

Occupied Territories

Finally Plowing

1 Comment 24 May 2011

This past week (Sunday, Monday) plowing finally went ahead near the ‘Madison Route” in the lands of Awarta village, as well as the coordinated plowing in the villages of Beit Furik and Rejub. This was a consequence of our concerted efforts in coordination with the Palestinian and Israeli DCOs and after some army procrastination. So far, the agricultural work has been progressing without serious problems. Continue Reading

Occupied Territories


No Comments 17 April 2011



Eloheinu v’Elohei Kadmoneinu (Avoteinu, Avoteinu vEmoteinu), our God and God of our ancestors, we are gathered around this seder table as b’nei khorin, free people commanded to remember our dark nights of oppression.  We have vowed never to become oppressors ourselves.  Yet, when we are honest with ourselves, we know that we may be Pharaoh in the liberation tales of other peoples, or even the disadvantaged among our own people, who still feel themselves to be slaves in Egypt.  Like Pharaoh, we are capable of oppressing when we feel threatened.  There are times when we are truly endangered, and times when our belief that “In every generation there are those who arise to destroy us” causes us to perceive hatred where it does not exist.  How easy it becomes to harden our hearts to those who have paid an excessive price for our people’s prosperity and security.  Our experience as victims blinds us to the possibility that we can be both victims and victimizers at the same time.  To be truly free we must banish Pharaoh from our hearts and reaffirm our commitment to honor God’s Image in every human being. Recalling the midwives of old, we know that the seeds of redemption are planted when we oppose Pharaoh’s command.


Tonight we leave a place at our table for victims of oppression.  We renew our commitment to winning their freedom, thereby insuring ours.  We particularly remember: (Choose one or more)



A. Israeli Democracy. First they attacked the courts and judges, and we didn’t protest.  We aren’t judges, and clearly the courts are an elite that doesn’t represent the people or Jewish values.  Next they attacked Israeli Arabs, “No citizenship without loyalty.” We didn’t protest because we  aren’t Arabs, and Arabs aren’t Zionists.  Next they attacked peace organizations.  We didn’t protest because, “That’s politics.” After that they came for human rights organizations, and we didn’t protest because human rights organizations called for an independent Israeli investigation into the Gaza war.  ”They collaborate with the enemy.”  With the help of the Jewish community abroad, some of the most egregious proposed laws have been defeated or emptied of  content, but some have passed and some tens of anti democratic proposals are still pending.


When this night we open the door for Elijah, who will be waiting for us on the other side?



B. Civilians in Gaza and the Western Negev, and Gilad Shalit. Another year has passed since that terrible war.  Gilad is still captive and Gazans still live blockaded. The residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and the Western Negev have again become targets.  On both sides of the border, civilians tremble in fear as the dogs of war approach.


Tonight, their fear is our fear. If are truly free this evening, we are free to choose.  May it be Your Will that we choose life, peace and human dignity for ourselves and for others.  In so doing, may we turn enemies into friends (Pirkei Avot D’Rabi Natan) Next year, may Gilad Shalit be free to celebrate Passover with his family and may civilians live free of fear.


C. Residents of Public Housing. Some 50,000 Israelis are on the waiting list for public housing, while the threat of eviction threatens to rip even this last safety net for those thankful for these oft times substandard apartments.  The Zohar family of Beit Sha’an was homeless for months after suffering eviction, the Miskani family waited six years for Amidar to stop water from dripping into electrical boxes, and countless others wait for essential repairs.  Just as the Egyptians believed their superiority allowed them to treat the Israelites however they wished (R. Samson Raphael Hirsch), so the officials of Amidar and other public housing companies feel free to ignore tenant’s rights or manufacture debts based on charges they themselves can’t explain.


As we sing Adir Hu and dream of the day when God will build God’s house, we know that neither the Temple nor our national home can be built when we harden our hearts to declare that those without means are less worthy than we. Celebrating the seder in the security of our homes, we commit ourselves this night to work in the coming year so that our National Home rests on a foundation of justice.



D. Residents of East Jerusalem. The Ghawi,  Hanoun and El-Kurd families of Sheikh Jarakh remain homeless, the Israeli court has ruled that all the residents of Um El Arun can be expelled, and additional families are in the midst of court proceedings.  They have been expelled “legally” by court order because of alleged pre-1948 Jewish ownership, but no court will send them back to their pre-1948 homes.  In Issawiyah, rather than approving zoning plans to ease the housing shortage, a new plan has been approved to take land for a “national park.” In Silwan, police regularly fire tear gas at worshipers reciting the Friday prayers in the tent protesting the threatened demolition of 86 homes to make way for an archaeological park.  As tensions rise, hundreds of children have been rounded up and arrested indiscriminately because the police can’t identify those throwing stones at them or the settlers living in armed enclaves in the midst of the neighborhood. Even when their cause was just, the Israelites were enjoined to stay in their homes when the angel of death passed over Egypt because even one’s cause is just, contact with violence corrupts (R. Tammarat)  The violence brewing in  East Jerusalem threatens to engulf us all.

“Our ancestor was a wandering Aramean.”  This night we remember that all have the right to a home.


E.     Villages Bordering the Settlements and Outposts of the Nablus Region. This month, Abu-Wael of Farata discovered another 143 of his olive trees chopped down next to the Khavat Gilad outpost, and another trailer home placed on his land.  This after he was detained and left without water for hours in the sun on October 15th because he asked soldiers to stop the Israelis who were burning down hundreds of trees in front of his eyes.  Israelis regularly descend from the Har Brakha and Yitzhar settlements to stone homes, set fire to fields and trees, and to sew fear in the surrounding villages.  Legitimately trying to catch the perpetrators of the murderers of the Fogel family in their beds, the army has crossed red line between legitimate investigation and collective punishment in Awarta.  Women are torn from their children in the middle of the night and houses are left in shambles.

This night, we recall that the one who stood with our ancestors  in our trials of oppression stands with all who are oppressed. We recommit to being God’s partners to protect, replant, and again make the olive tree a symbol of peace.


F. Sudanese Refugees.  “No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of the Lord…because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you left Egypt…”(Deuteronomy 23:4) Fleeing the carnage of Darfur and unwelcome in Egypt, Sudanese refugees come to Israel’s borders assuming that they will find refuge among those who have known too often the terror of being refused asylum .  However, they are turned back from closed borders.    The lucky ones who have made it across have been imprisoned for months and longer, some of them eventually released.  Samuel (not real name) saw much of his family murdered in Southern Sudan and was himself imprisoned.  Helped to escape before he too was murdered, he became a translator in Egypt.  However, his life was again in danger because Egyptians thought he “knew to much.”  At first imprisoned in Israel, he now helps fellow refugees.

G.    El Arakib. Their homes demolished some 22 times, as JNF/KKL forests close in from all directions, even though courts have not yet made a final determination who owns the land.  The cemetery of this “unrecognized” Bedouin village in the Negev offers silent testimony as to who has lived on this land for generations.

As we open the door this night in remembrance of how generations lived in fear of who might be waiting outside, our hearts are with those who live in terror of the bulldozers that can arrive again at any moment.


Opening our doors to invite all who are hungry to come and eat, we remember the many doors closed to us over long years of persecution.   This night we open our hearts to refugees and commit to opening our borders.










The Four Children at the Seder Table:  Which Child Am I?


As we celebrate this Holiday of Freedom, the ending of slavery, we ask, “Who am I, when I hear of human rights abuses? Who will I choose to be when I know that others are suffering?”


Will I be one who does not ask? Will I close the newspaper or turn off the television so that I do not hear? Will I turn my head and heart away?


Will I ask only simple questions? “What is this?”  Will I ask what, but never why?


Will I let the evil impulse, my yetzer hara ask: “What has this to do with me?” Will I let the problem belong only to the victims and the do-gooders? Will I distance myself from those in need?


Or will I strive to act in wisdom, to ask: “What are the underlying causes of the problem and what needs to be done to stop the abuse and free the oppressed? What are the laws and what does Gd expect of me?”


May God open the eyes of those who do not see, the mouths of those who do not ask, and the hearts of those who do not care, and grant us the wisdom to open our hands to our fellow humans when they are in need  - the hand of generosity, the hand of support, the hand of peace and friendship.


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