Young settlers out for a hike

Illegal settlements

 

Settlement construction is one of the most common tactics that the Israeli occupation uses to steal Palestinian land. Currently, nine settlements surround Wadi Qana. The largest is Immanu'el, followed by Yakir, Qarne Shomron (Ginot Shomron), Ma'ale Shomeron, Nofim, Elmatan, Ramat Gilad, Havat Ya'ir (Yaqir Dorom), and Alonei Shilo (Nof Qana). In total, almost 10,000 settlers live here. 

 

Up until the 1970s, when the first settlements were built, Wadi Qana was home to approximately fifty Palestinian families. Now, almost all of their homes have been destroyed. The few farmers that have stayed, live in constant fear of attack and harrassment by armed settlers. 

 

Currently, over 650,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, in direct violation of the fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an occupying force may not transfer members of its population into occupied territory. When the Israeli Military identifies an area that they deem strategically significant, they will build a settlement there, after displacing any Palestinian residents - bulldozing their homes and uprooting olive trees and other crops. Once settlers move in, they are provided with weapon - ranging from handguns to M-16 assualt rifles - by the Israeli military. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has recorded 2,100 indicents of assaults by settlers on Palestinians from 2006 to 2014, with 399 attacks occuring in 2013. 

Houses in the illegal settlement of Nofim

Illegal Settlement of Maale Shomron