For hundreds of years, the Palestinian villages of ‘Azmut, Deir al-Hatab and Salem (Nablus District) were sustained by an economy based on farming and shepherding on al-Jabal al-Kbir (the Great Mountain; Har Kabir, in Hebrew) and its surrounding valleys, which lies east of the city of Nablus, and in the valleys around it. In 1980, the settlement of Elon Moreh was established on land owned by the villages. Ever since, the settlers and Israeli authorities have taken action to dispossess residents of the three villages of their lands, gradually transferring the land to Elon Moreh and other nearby settlement outposts. Separating the Palestinian residents from their lands has destroyed the economy of the villages and undermined the very fabric of traditional village life.
B’Tselem’s new report describes the mechanisms of dispossession used against these three villages, which have resulted in devastation to the traditional farming way of life. The same mechanisms and processes have been put into practice in hundreds of other villages across the West Bank.
Photos by Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Activestills.org