International Women's Peace Service - West Bank Land Confiscation

IWPS House Report No. 136
Settlers form Revava illegal settlement start installing water pipes on Haris villagers land
On Friday the 17th April in the morning we received a call from a worried Haris resident who is the owner of the land close to the nearby Revava settlement.
The villager told us that a group of man, some of them armed, have arrived with the bulldozer and were working on his land.
IWPS went to investigate and found Revava settlement security staff and the workman operating a digger , as well as a dozen concerned Palestinians who came to find out what was happening. The security person said that they were planning to replace the old water pipes which were supplying water for the settlement from the well in the Haris resident's field.
The settlers could not produce any paperwork permitting the digging and the IWPS reported the incident to the Palestinian Authority who informed the Israeli army and police.
They promised to intervene and when this was conveyed to the settlers they left but said that they would return with the required permit to continue with the work.
On Monday the 20th April the settlers were back accompanied by two Israeli soldiers and have dug a wide truncheon about 50 metres long for the new larger replacement water pipe.
We contacted the Palestinian Authority and they confirmed that the settlers have been issued a permit for the work and that no further action could be taken against them.
During our visit to the field on Thursday the 23rd we established that the settlers' work extended to the land of a second Palestinian who was the owner of about the half of the land in question. He expressed his doubts to us that the settlers had a permit to carry out the digging, because they failed to produce it when he requested it.
We have referred both Palestinians to the organisations providing specialist legal support with the issues arising from the Israeli occupation, including the issues of land confiscation and usurpation by the settlers.
The affected Palestinians see the settlers' work in their fields as a violation of their property rights. In the past a large chunks of their land were taken away illegally and without their consent by the Israeli army and the settlers and some of it was used for the build of one of the tallest watch towers in the West Bank based near the entrance to Haris.