Mt Carmel fire is huge news– what about the arson all over Palestine??

on 31 Comments

Because, I document the news every single day and am aware of the fact that a week does not pass without settlers setting fire to Palestinian schools, homes and agricultural land it’s almost impossible for me not make “political hay” out of the fact that while the remaining 22% of historic Palestine burns to the ground, nobody cares, except for Palestinians. 

Settlers torch olive trees south of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Residents of illegal settlements in the Nablus district set fire to olive trees on Tuesday, a Palestinian Authority official said.  Ghassan Doughlas, who holds the settlements file for the northern West Bank, said settlers from Yizhar settlement torched trees on land belonging to Madama and Asira villages south of Nablus.

IOF troops detain 7 Palestinians, settlers set fire to cultivated land
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Wednesday including MP Nayef Al-Rajoub in Al-Khalil and two brothers in Nablus.

More questions about the settler attack on church in Jerusalem
A group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked and set fire to an old Christian church in Jerusalem (Al Quds) on Friday night, 30th October.

The church itself was built more than a hundred years ago and has housed Christian worshippers in the Holy city of Al Quds for decades.  For the leaders of the Church, Friday night’s attack was indicative of the slow but steady destruction of Al Quds itself; once a city of diverse religious beliefs and practices. Zakaria Al-Mashriqi, one of these Leaders of the Church spoke of the attack as a “sinful crime” and stated in a press conference that the destruction of the Church was in line with the attempts by the Israeli army, the settler force and the Israeli government to expel Palestinians from the Holy city.

Palestinians say settlers torched their olive trees (AFP)
SALEM, Palestinian Territories – Palestinians said that Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank burned about 200 of their olive trees on Sunday and also torched surrounding grazing land. Settlers denied the allegations. The alleged attackers were seen heading in the direction of the nearby Elon Moreh settlement after setting fire to the trees on land owned by the Palestinian village of Salem, village council spokesman Adli Ishtayeh said.

Settlers Destroy Trees in Surif
Like Palestinians for centuries before them, Shaban Atiya Al-Hur and Ahmed Atiya Al-Hur have farmed the Al-Hajahat area of Surif. This morning both men attended their land to find that settlers from the nearby Bat Ayn settlement had destroyed 85 of their olive and fig trees. The trees were destroyed by deliberately lit fires and amount to around half the trees in the area. The fires were started at approximately 9:30am and lasted for around half an hour.

Settlers Burn Olive Trees Near Nablus
A group of extremist Jewish settlers torched, on Sunday, at least 200 Palestinian olive trees that belong to residents of Salem village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and also torched a number of nearby farms.

Jewish settlers set fire to girls school while expanding Rahalim settlement
As Jewish settlers spent Sunday morning digging up land in south Nablus to expand settlement, Nablus lawmaker Yasser Mansur warned expansion of illegal Jewish settlements was on the rise.

Another Settler Arson of Salem’s Olive Trees, Assaf Oron
Uri Pinkerfeld, Villages Group coordinator for Salem and Deir El Hattab, reports:  On Sunday November 14 2010, around 12 noon, smoke was seen rising from the olive orchards on the slopes of Jabal Kabeer above Salem. Several farmers went to locate the fire’s location, north of the settler bypass road, not far from the cistern. Two local teenagers who were shepherding nearby hurried to the location as well, and tried to put out the fire. They reported having seen two settlers run off towards the “Skali Farm” settler outpost. The farmers immediaterly called firefighters from Nablus and the officers of the District Coordination Office. The military allowed the fire truck to get to the orchards, but the road was too steep. Farmers eventually managed to put out the fire manually.

Residents say settlers behind torched grove
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Fires ravaged agricultural lands in the southern West Bank near Hebron on Monday afternoon, destroying 15 dunums of fruit grove and greenhouses.  Beit Ummar farmers, whose lands were affected, said they believed setters from the nearby Bat Ayin colony were behind the arson, which destroyed dozens of fig, olive and pine trees.

Settlers set Saffa ablaze, 3 Palestinian youth arrested
17 Nov - Palestine Solidarity Project - Last night [Tuesday] 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 blamed for fire near Nablus
Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian farmland between the West Bank cities of Nablus and Qalqiliya on Tuesday, officials said. Ghassan Dughlus, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, said Israelis from the settlement of Givat Gilad set fires in the village ofJit. He said about 100 trees were burned in the blaze. Mayor Nasser As-Sida told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers bared villagers from going to the land in order to put out the fire.

Settlers burn 10 dunums of farmlands south of Nablus
NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli settlers from the Itamar settlement in south Nablus burned on Friday at least ten dunums of land cultivated with olive trees in the Bayada region northeast of the Awarta village … Israeli occupation soldiers stopped Palestinians and emergency officials from controlling the fire.

10 dunums of olive trees in Awarta burned by settlers
Oct 1, 2010– two settlers of Itimar settlement burned, approximately 10 dunums of an olive grove. The fires were North East of Awarta village, in the South Nablus district.

Settlers torch farmlands near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Residents of Huwwara village south of Nablus said Thursday that settlers set dozens of dunums of farm lands on fire, destroying crops.  PA official responsible for settlement-observation in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas said the fields were in the At-Tira area of Huwwara village, and had destroyed some crops.  “Lighting fields on fire is a provocative act perpetrated by settlers seeking bury the peace process,” the official said, calling on representatives of the Middle East Quartet to ensure that Israel took responsibility for the actions of its settlers.

Settlers caught on camera torching cars
Three Israeli settlers were caught on security cameras setting fire to two Palestinian cars in the village of Qusra in the northern Nablus district overnight Saturday … The footage captured by Hamdan’s home security surveillance also show settlers writing “death to you” on his doorstep after the settlers drove up to his home in a Peugeot, fleeing the scene after the arson.

Settlers torch olive groves in northern West Bank
Firefighters were called to a Qalqiliya village on Friday after settlers torched Palestinian olive groves, a civil defense spokesman said. Mohammad Amer said residents of the illegal Gevat Gilad outpost prevented fire engines from reaching Far’ata village. He added that tens of thousands of shekels of damage was caused in part due to the delay.

Israel settlers start fires amid West Bank harvest (AFP)
FARATA’A, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – Thick black smoke billows from the olive grove under the gaze of Israeli soldiers as Palestinian farmers use branches to try to beat out the fires lit by Jewish settlers. It’s olive harvest time in the occupied West Bank. The firebombers swooped down from Havat Gilad, a wildcat Jewish settlement unauthorised even by the Israeli government. Encircled by barbed wire, the makeshift dwellings glower down on the surrounding Palestinian olive plantations from a hilltop in the northern West Bank.

Settlers torch crops in Bethlehem village
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian crops on farmland in the Husan village in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, burning vast areas of olive groves before firefighters were able to control the blaze, locals said.  Locals said Israeli residents of the nearby illegal Betar Illit settlement obstructed Palestinian firefighters from accessing the site of the blaze, causing the fire to spread extensively.  A local village council source said grape and olive groves were damaged in the arson, largely in the Ein At-Taqa area, adding that bare-footed farmers were unable to extinguish the fire and that several sustained light burns as a result.

Settlers torch, vandalize Nablus school
NABLUS (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers broke into an all girls’ school in the Nablus district village of As-Sawiya on Wednesday, setting fire to its storehouse containing furniture and unused sports equipment, the headmistress said.  Maysoon Sawalha said the school’s cleaning woman arrived to find the lock on the main door broken as well as that of the storehouse, with all its contents torched.

Palestinian school set on fire, vandalized with ‘regards from the hills’ graffiti
Incident appears to be the latest action in the ‘price tag’ campaign of extremist settlers.

Report from beyond the Green Line: Al Ma`sara celebrates four years of joint struggle and houses set on fire in Nabi Saleh
The unarmed and largely non-violent protests against the occupation returned to the West Bank on Friday. From Al Ma’asara to Sheikh Jarrah to Ni’ilin, Palestinians joined by Israeli and international supporters demonstrated against the occupation and for joint struggle against Israeli repression of non-violence in Palestine. The following is a collection of reports from certain villages complete with photos and video.

Israeli hasbara efforts:  Suspicion: Anarchists torched field near settlement
Security forces detain 12 people, including seven foreigners for allegedly setting fire to field near Bat Ayin; 12 acres destroyed … The grove has been set on fire three times over the past few weeks by anarchists.,7340,L-3986648,00.html

Truth: Watch: Footage contradicts arson allegations
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — International solidarity activists hit back this week at allegations broadcast in Israeli media that they and Palestinian farmers set fire to “state land” in the occupied West Bank.Ynet news and Arutz Sheva, two Israeli media outlets, reported Sunday that “leftists” and “foreign anarchists” were caught in an arson attempt near an illegal settlement between Bethlehem and Hebron.

Journalists held after covering Safa village arson
Hebron – PNN – Israeli forces held a group of journalists who tried to cover Wednesday’s settler assaults in the village of Safa, near Hebron. Muhammad Ayad Awad, media spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Project, said that troops detained a Palestine Television crew including Fada Nasir and Mahmoud Khilaf, as well as a group of solidarity activists. They were forbidden from taking pictures of the fire started in Safa by Israeli settlers from nearby Bat Ayin. The fire reportedly destroyed more than ten acres of olive and almond trees.According to Awad, the military’s explanation was that the burning acreage was a “closed military zone.”

31 Responses

  1. Seham
    December 3, 2010, 2:22 pm

    P.S. these incidents all took place in the last 60 days and I limited my selections to those which were covered in English.

    • Walid
      December 3, 2010, 3:02 pm

      These fires should give the chosen a small taste of how Palestinians feel to see their trees being burned or uprooted.

      • Seham
        December 4, 2010, 2:47 am

        Yes Walid, but too bad that in the media, Palestinian trees don’t matter.

      • Sumud
        December 4, 2010, 5:47 am

        Seham ~ just thinking about your digest.

        I really like the format of this post – taking one issue and highlighting it by drawing on your archives. Because you are dealing with so much media you’re in an almost unique position to point out particular trends or activities. Sort of a political version of coolhunting.

        You should do more.

      • Sumud
        December 4, 2010, 5:49 am

        You should consider doing more…

      • Seham
        December 4, 2010, 12:43 pm

        Sumud, it’s a good suggestion. I did it once before after the settlers were killed to show their systematic pattern of violence towards palestinians.

  2. seafoid
    December 3, 2010, 2:50 pm

    The settlers will go the way of the South African white supremacists. They are incapable of decency.

  3. Citizen
    December 3, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Nothing on all those criminal fires in the US news; meanwhile lots of goy nations are rushing to help Israel fight its single forest fire and that’s in the news.

  4. gingershot
    December 3, 2010, 4:33 pm

    I’m surprised that intentional acts of arson directed against Israel itself – though I haven’t seen any reporting of this incidence being arson – doesn’t happen more regularly.

    Fire is a poor man’s weapon

  5. Sumud
    December 4, 2010, 1:34 am

    A devastating compilation Seham.

    Unfortunately the huge pro-Israeli bias much of the MSM is guilty of means these continuous acts of low-level terrorism are hardly ever reported outside Palestine and Israel. Let’s hope that more journalists might grow spines like that lot who were grilling PJ Crowley the other day at the White House on it’s obvious pro-Israel bias (video here).

  6. seafoid
    December 4, 2010, 3:43 am

    Hey Seham

    Check out this devastating inictment of the JNF and the ethncic cleansing of 1948 from a ha’aretz reader. The Zionists needed a quick fix to wipe out all evidence that Palestine ever existed after destroying 700 villages and towns and shunting all their unwanted non Jews to Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon.

    They were all outsiders and none of them knew anything about the local flora. Plus as the thugs they were they didn’t care.

    • Eco systems
    o Danite
    o 03.12.10
    o 21:12
    The real root of the problem is the mass planting of pine trees.The natural forest of israel was made up of fire tolerant species, like oak and walnut.However they take longer to grow, and pine treees green an area quickly.They have their place as part of a mix , but those all pine tree forests have no place in the local eco sysytem, this is where the problem truly is,they need to replant with other types of trees.

    • Shmuel
      December 4, 2010, 3:52 am

      The pine trees were also part of the effort to make Palestine look like northern Europe. It is not a coincidence that the area affected by the fire is known in Israel as “Little Switzerland”.

      • Shingo
        December 4, 2010, 4:08 am

        “The pine trees were also part of the effort to make Palestine look like northern Europe. “‘

        Which only goes to show that most Israelis have no connetion whatsoever to the land. If they did, they would have no desire to turn a part of the Middle East into somethign that resembles a foreign entity.

        Shmolo Zand is vindicated again.

      • seafoid
        December 4, 2010, 4:32 am

        I spent a few months learning arabic in Bir Zeit in the West Bank and I always remember the smell of the local trees (which are not pine).
        Anyway I found myself on the East Bank in Jordan a few years later and got this amazing scent from the trees there that reminded me of the West Bank.

        Israel has also banjaxed the water system . Another great sign of the Zionist love of the land was the Maccabi games bridge disaster. a number of foreigners died due to exposure to the sewer of an ex river they fell into.

        Israel is prone to these kinds of disasters. About 7 or 8 years ago around 20 people died when a cheapo wedding hall ceiling collapsed.

        Israeli infrastructure was never great to start with – the country was very poor between 1948 and 1967 – and the takeover of the Likud from 1977 with its free market moron ideology and private affluence public squalor mentality meant less and less was spent on the basics. And there are also of course the appalling sums expended on the YESHA project. There is no better way of caring for the Jews who actually live in Israel than to build homes for Jews in Kiryat Arba , is there?

      • MRW
        December 4, 2010, 4:51 am

        Pine trees are now considered ‘gasoline’ by forest rangers in US national parks. My family has a cottage in one. After the massive fires that burned tens of millions of acres across four states about a decade ago, we were told by the rangers to pull all the pine trees off the property.

        The rangers were real treehuggers before then. We were fined 10Gs if we cut a tree. Once they got religion, they were hosting tree-cutting parties with us and inviting the loggers in to take all the pine. The only allowable trees are fir or certain spruce. Fir can survive a forest fire, even though they take forever to grow.

        Seems the trunk of the pine is filled with sap, and it reaches a boiling point in a nanosecond. The tree explodes and the embers can soar 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

        The best part of what the rangers told us was this: someone found photos from over 100 years ago showing what the national parks looked like when the Indians took care of the land. The rangers couldn’t understand all the grass areas, the savannahs. or why the ground under the trees at the edges of the savannah were down to the dirt; they were cleaned, no pine needles or cones. no juniper or ground cover.

        So the rangers checked with the old Indian Chiefs and found out that the Indians did controlled burns all the time, cut the branches off the trunk up to the 10 ft mark, swept the ground underneath, pulled any ground cover that encircled the trees, and thinned the forest. They did it for two reasons: so the buffalo and elk could eat and walk around without getting harmed, and to prevent forest fires.

      • MRW
        December 4, 2010, 5:24 am

        For those of you who might care about this stuff, or who live in the woods, the rangers gave us a choice that we had to make or they said they would refuse to let their firefighters save our cottage. It would be too dangerous for the firefighters otherwise. The choice was keep any pine trees 40 ft from the house (the explosion problem) because my treehugger mother was partial to some of them, or get a metal roof and the pine trees could stay 10 ft away.

      • Seham
        December 4, 2010, 12:10 pm

        Sumud, it’s a good suggestion. I did it once before after the settlers were killed to show their systematic pattern of violence towards palestinians.

      • seafoid
        December 4, 2010, 12:28 pm

        Thanks very much for that insight.

    • Shmuel
      December 4, 2010, 4:11 am

      pine treees green an area quickly

      Thereby establishing a “Jewish presence” – the primary goal of the JNF at the time.

      • Shingo
        December 4, 2010, 6:03 am

        If pine trees are supposed to be symbolic of a “Jewish presence”, then that would suggest Jews are alien to the teritory – as if we didn’t already know.

  7. seafoid
    December 4, 2010, 3:53 am

    link to

    However, the facts on the ground were pretty devastating for the JNF. The pine tree didn’t adapt to the Israeli climate as much as the Israelis failed to adapt to the Middle East. According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive. Those few trees that did survive formed nothing but a firetrap. By the end of each Israeli summer each of the Israeli pine forests become a potential deadly zone.

    In spite of its nuclear power, its criminal army, the occupation, the Mossad and its lobbies all over the world, Israel seems to be very vulnerable. It is devastatingly alienated from the land it claims to own. Like the pine tree, Israel and the Israeli are foreign to the region.

    • syvanen
      December 4, 2010, 5:35 am

      According to JNF statistics, six out of every 10 saplings planted did not survive.

      Actually 6 out of 10 mortality is considered a successful planting, even for trees native to the region. This fact is not an indictment for the JNF forestration projects, but the current fires are. The problem is that these are totally artificial forests, as should be obvious to any sentient observer. In any case we are seeing the total failure to introduce a northern European ecosystem into the Eastern Mediterranean climate. Could this be symbolic of the failure of introducing a northern European culture into the mid east?

    • Walid
      December 4, 2010, 5:57 am

      Jews that expelled Palestinians that took their places were and are still alien to the land but the pine tree was not. It’s talked about all over the Bible and de Lamartine in 1833 wrote lots about the magnificent pine forests he saw on his travels through Lebanon and Palestine.

      • Walid
        December 4, 2010, 7:25 am

        Great news from Brazil: Brazil recognizes Palestinian state

        The Associated Press
        Friday, December 3, 2010; 12:15 PM

        SAO PAULO — Brazil says it has recognized the state of Palestine based on borders at the time of Israel’s 1967 conquest of the West Bank.

        The Foreign Ministry says the recognition is in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

        Silva sent a letter to Abbas on Dec. 1, saying Brazil recognizes Palestine and hopes that the recognition will help lead to states of Israel and Palestine “that will coexist peacefully and in security.”

        The foreign ministry says that the recognition is “in line with Brazil’s historic willingness to contribute to peace between Israel and Palestine.”

        The announcement was posted Friday on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

        link to

    • Seham
      December 4, 2010, 2:44 pm

      I don’t like Atzmon.

  8. seafoid
    December 4, 2010, 4:39 am

    The other thing about the whole pine planting is that the Ashkenazim who set up the whole Zionist fantasy were not farmers. And neither are people like the Dersh and Foxman. And for them land has some sort of sacred Zionist meaning that is not connected to the way ordinary peasants think about land with its instinct for care and sustainability. And overlaid on that primal Zionist urge for land is the modern Israeli consumer society’s use of the land with intensive farming, waste of water , massive pesticide use etc.

    You only have to look at the names the Zionists gave to “their” rivers, towns and landscapes to see what a crock of bilge the whole project is.

  9. Citizen
    December 4, 2010, 6:29 am

    That’s why it’s called a pine tree.

  10. Walid
    December 4, 2010, 7:31 am

    Brazil Recognizes Palestine; Move Irks US Lawmakers, Israel

    04/12/2010 US lawmakers and Israel have attacked Brazil for recognizing the state of Palestine based on the borders that existed prior to the 1967 Six-Day War.

    US legislators described Brazil’s decision as “regrettable,” saying the move might threaten peace and security in the Middle East.

    The decision of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “is regrettable and will only serve to undermine peace and security in the Middle East,” AFP quoted Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as saying on Friday.

    The move “is severely misguided and represents a last gasp by a Lula-led foreign policy which was already substantially off track,” charged Democratic Representative Eliot Engel.

    Israel on Saturday said it was disappointed by Brazil’s decision saying it flew in the face of efforts to negotiate a “peace deal.” “Recognition of a Palestinian state is a breach of the interim agreement which was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority 1995 which said that the issue of the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be discussed and resolved through negotiations,” it said.

    link to

    • Seham
      December 4, 2010, 12:17 pm

      Walid, speaking of al manar… their wiki response has been very weak so far and i do understand their predicament but how long can the sayyed remain quiet while the defense minister strategizes with the sahyounis to kill shia? What is ur take on all that and when is the sayyed speaking next?

  11. justicewillprevail
    December 4, 2010, 1:42 pm

    Another take on the fire from Gilad Atzmon:

    link to

    This time regarding the identity of the artists village which burned down. Seems this is the second time it suffered a disaster – the first of course when the Palestinians, whose village it was, were ethnically cleansed from there. Not that the Israelis will be mourning that tragedy, or even acknowledging it happened.

  12. Sumud
    December 5, 2010, 9:16 am

    Article from EI about Umm al Zinat – the Palestinian village ethnically cleansed in 1948, on whose land the Mt Carmel reserve exists:

    ‘Umm al-Zinat: Commemorating the Catastrophe’
    link to

    Umm Al Zinat was ‘transferred’ to the JNF in October 1950 and planted with conifers.

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