Suspicion of a Price Tag act – This morning about 200 olive trees were discovered cut down in the Palestinian village of Qusra. 69 of them were planted just a week ago by Rabbis for Human Rights activists in an event specifically billed as a response to other such vandalism in a village all too accustomed to it.
In all, 200 trees were planted then, about the same number that were cut down last night. At the same time, near the Esh Kodesh settler outpost, settlers attacked Palestinian farmers who had entered their lands after coordinating with the IDF. The attackers apparently came from Esh Kodesh and were still in the area when security forces arrived; the latter had still not cleared the settlers from the Palestinian lands (Arutz Sheva).
The IDF dispersed Palestinian farmers using tear gas when the farmers tried to enter their lands after coordinating with the Civil Administration and after being attacked by the settlers.
At about 9:00 today, near the Esh Kodesh outpost, Fawzi Ibrahim entered his lands – lands that the IDF had declared off limits to settlers; the settlers had repeatedly attacked. The entry was coordinated with the IDF. A little after he got there, he says, settlers arrived – the Stroock family and others – and began throwing stones at him and his 12 family members and workers. He claims that after they responded in kind, the army came and fired tear gas grenades at them. In the IDF’s preliminary investigation it was claimed that the tear gas was aimed at the settlers. Right now the settlers are still there and not the Palestinian owners.
A RHR petition to the Supreme Court prompted the IDF to issue a restraining order against the settlers, and resulted in a directive to ensure Palestinian access to their lands (that in the interim seems theoretical). It should have meant that Fawzi could enter his lands under reasonable terms, but that has not happened.
Fawzi spends quite a bit of money to work his land, but faces difficulties that drive his investment down the drain. For example, he bought NIS 10,000 worth of seeds – and if he cannot plow now he will miss the entire planting season and suffer tremendous economic damage.