Articles in the Saffa Category

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

29 May 2011

In the evening hours of Saturday, May 28, Israeli soldiers stopped a group of farmers in the Safa region of Beit Ommar from proceeding to their lands to harvest grape leaves. Four members of the Israeli army detained about twenty Beit Ommar farmers for half an hour, claiming the area was a closed military zone. They showed no paperwork, and finally the farmers moved past them to complete their work. The farmers gathered leaves until their containers were full, and then moved to leave.

The soldiers allowed the women of the group to continue home, but detained the men. Eight men had their identification cards taken, and were made to sit and wait for another group of soldiers to arrive. The … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

11 Apr 2011
Beit Ommar Farmers Continue Planting in the Saffa Valley

On the morning of Monday, April 11th, volunteers from the Palestine Solidarity Project joined with the National Committee of Beit Ommar to complete planting in the Saffa region of the village. Seven village residents and five internationals met in the fields across from Bat Ayn settlement at 8:00 am. Upon their arrival, they discovered arrival that olive saplings in a field planted on Saturday had been uprooted, presumably by settlers or Israeli military forces.

The farmers and volunteers quickly planted the forty remaining olive trees set aside for the region. Once the new trees were in the ground, the group returned to the previous planting site and … Continue reading

Saffa »

9 Apr 2011
200 Trees Planted in Saffa Despite Military Harrasment

On Saturday, April 9th, around forty Beit Ommar farmers and international solidarity activists planted over 200 olive trees in the Saffa region of Beit Ommar. The planting began around 7:00 am, and was half-finished when Israeli Defense Force soldiers arrived at 8:30. The soldiers said that the area was a Closed Military Zone, but lacked the paperwork legally required to enforce the designation. As the collected farmers and activists continued to plant trees, the soldiers attempted to deter them by kicking dirt into holes and confiscating their tools. A young boy’s jacket was also taken.

Several members of the planting crew began arguing with … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

8 Apr 2011
20 Farmers, Family Members Detained While Working Their Land in Saffa

On the evening of Friday, April 8th, Israel Defense Forces detained about twenty members of the Aady family of Beit Ommar. The family had planted three olive trees on their land in the Safa Valley (near Bat Ayn settlement) when members of the IDF arrived and informed them that the entire valley was a Closed Military Zone. At 5:30 pm, soldiers forced the planting to end, and refused to allow the family to leave.

The entire Aady family was held in Safa for roughly an hour before more members of the IDF and Civil Administration arrived in two jeeps. The newly arrived military personnel began arguing with the farmers. Several members … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

4 Apr 2011
Beit Ommar Farmer Remains Steadfast on His Land Despite Army, Settler, Harassment

Mohammed Abd Alhamid Soleibi has lost land before.

Four years ago, twelve dunams of farmland near Karmei Tsur—land for which he had all the appropriate deeds and documentations of ownership—was surrounded by a fence, essentially annexed by the settlement. This left the seventy-year-old farmer with eighty-eight dunams about a kilometer and a half from the settlement of Bat Ayn in the Saffa Valley. He shares this land with his extended family—in all, around one hundred and fifty people make use of it.

Around eight thirty on the morning of Saturday, April 2nd, Mohammed went out to his remaining land with his brother, sons, and grandson. He and his grandson took a donkey and began plowing one field while the others worked … Continue reading

Beit Ommar, Saffa »

28 Jan 2011
Planting Begins in Saffa!

On Thursday January 27 at 10 am, a crowd of over 300 Palestinian farmers, activists and international supporters gathered in the Saffa and Ayen Al-Baid regions of Beit Ommar to begin planting olive trees on land marked for annexation by the neighboring Bat Ayn settlement. The crowd was joined by several prominent figures, including PA minister of the Wall and Settlements Maher Ghnemi, the mayors of the Hebron and Beit Ommar municipalities and US Department of State Foreign Service Officer Billy McFarland. The ceremonial planting marked the kickoff of a campaign to plant 3,000 trees in Saffa, on land that the … Continue reading

Arrest, Beit Ommar, Saffa »

25 Nov 2010

Early Thursday morning, at approximately 2:00am, Israeli forces from the Gush Etzion military base came to the homes of brothers and National Committee members Yousef and Mousa Abu Maria. Both are also co-founders of the Palestine Solidarity Project.
Mousa, whose wife and baby girl–both Israeli citizens–were visiting family, was forced outside while his home was searched. 3 computers belonging to the Palestine Solidarity Project were taken. Yousef, father of 10 year-old Reem, 4 year-old Obay, and 1 month-old Della’, was also taken from his home in the middle of the night.
Both were held outside in freezing temperatures in Gush Etzion military base for over 5 hours; neither were allowed to put on proper shoes or clothing and repeated … Continue reading

Saffa, settlement expansion, Settler Violence »

20 Nov 2010
The Bat Ayn Settlement – Neighbors from Hell

The Bat Ayn settlement was established in the early 1990s by a breakaway group from the nearby Gush Etzion settlement. Bat Ayn was established under the guidance of the controversial Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. Rabbi Ginsburg has been quoted in the New York Times as stating that “any trial based on the assumption that Jews and goyim [non-Jewish people] are equal is a total travesty of justice”. Rabbi Ginsburg also praised the actions of Baruch Goldstein who in 1994 murdered 29 people and wounded more than 125 people who were praying in a mosque in Hebron.

Bet Ayn is one of over 200 Israeli settlements within the … Continue reading

Arrest, Saffa »

18 Nov 2010
13 Activists Arrested Accompanying Farmers in Saffa

13 Israeli, international and Palestinian activists were arrested at 10 am this morning while accompanying farmers to their land in the Saffa region of Beit Ommar. A group of nearly 30 activists accompanied Sheik Mohammad Aady to his land near the Bat Ayn settlement, which is marked for annexation by the Israeli military. After working on the land for half an hour, soldiers emerged from the Bat Ayn settlement and surrounding hills and detained the group.

A number of sound bombs were shot at those working on the land before the arrests. Amongst those arrested was Biet Ommar National Committee member and cameraman Mohammed Ayyad. As of … Continue reading

Arrest, Child Arrests, Saffa, Settler Violence »

17 Nov 2010
Settlers Set Saffa Ablaze, 3 Palestinian Youth Arrested While Extinguishing the Fire

Last night settlers from the Bat Ayn settlement set fire to 70 olive trees in the Saffa region of Beit Ommar. The trees belonged to the Thalji Aady family, who have been subject to frequent settler violence and military harassment. The fire was lit around 9:30 pm, and burned for 3 hours before fire trucks from the village were able to extinguish the flames. At 11:00 pm 3 military jeeps arrived and attempted to prevent villagers from extinguishing the fire, arresting 3 Palestinian youth in the process.

Settlers from the Bat Ayn settlement frequently destroy trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in Saffa, and several farmers … Continue reading