Monday, June 01, 2020

Settler violence continues in Qusra

By Calum Toogood - January 17, 2013
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Settlers attacks] [Olive Trees] [Kusra]

Since the beginning of the new year the village of Qusra, South of Nablus has seen increasing acts of violence towards its residents and agricultural lands by settlers in the surrounding outposts. Less than one month into 2013, the residents claim that 600 trees have been destroyed or uprooted, in addition to 8 people wounded from rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation. One resident has been shot with live ammunition, and another 3 villagers have been attacked.

The Qusra village council claim these acts were caused by the settlers from the outposts of Esh Kodesh and Kida. These outposts work largely in agriculture, harvesting vineyards and raising livestock.

Photo by Calum Toogood

Qusra has a population of around 6000, with around 60% of the workforce working in agriculture. Their livelihoods depend heavily on their land and their olive trees, many of which have been destroyed in recent weeks. 

Many of the branches of the trees have been snapped, whereas others were completely uprooted.

On Thursday 10th January one resident of Qusra was shot with live ammunition by a settler. According to Abd-Al-Azeem Odeh of Qusra village council, Omar Samer Odi was shot inside the village after settlers came to attack.

“The settlers were damaging everything; the trees, the fences, the stones,” Odeh said. “Omar was stood watching with his friends as the settlers were shooting the electricity lamps in the street. They came close to this house. They wanted to attack the house and frighten the children. So Omar is a young person and wants to protect this house. He headed towards them and he was shot in the right leg.”

The settlers were damaging everything; the trees, the fences, the stones

Following the attack , villagers tried to confront the settlers but were met by Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets on them.

Attacks against the village such as this have been occurring for years. In 2012, 36 people were attacked by settlers and hundreds more of the village’s olive trees were destroyed. 

Photo by Calum Toogood

While the village council has contacted the District Coordinating Office (DCO) on numerous occasions describing these acts of violence, Abd-Al-Azeem says nothing has been done and no one responsible has been arrested.

The week prior to the shooting of Odi, settlers, Israeli forces and residents of Qusra clashed in the fields surrounding Qusra resulting in several residents suffering from tear gas inhalation.

The settlement of Migdalim is located immediately next to Qusra, yet they have yet to harass the residents of Qusra. The settlement outposts of Esh Kodesh and Kida are located much farther away.

Photo by Calum Toogood

In response to the destruction of olive trees in Qusra, settlers from Esh Kodesh claim that the trees were destroyed during the intense storm which hit the area in the past week.

Residents of Esh Kodesh also have video footage of the Palestinians destroying the trees and fences in one of their vineyards.

Abd-Al-Azeem Odi claims that these vineyards belonged to Qusra before the settlement outpost of Esh Kodesh was established.

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