On the morning of March 1 three Israeli soldiers prevented a family from Beit Ummar from working in their orchard, and forced the family to leave their land, which lies directly below the settlement of Bat Ayin.
Beit Ummar is located 11 km northwest of Hebron in the West Bank. The village’s main source of income is agricultural, and Beit Ummar is known for it’s grape vines, cherry , plum, apple and olive orchards.
Four Israeli settlements surround Beit Ummar, all of which are illegal under international law. Repeated settler violence, harassment and destruction of property, including trees, has made agricultural work progressively more difficult for the farmers in the area.
The Bat Ayin settlement, above and and to the west of Beit Ummar, is expanding and creeping closer to the Palestinian village, making any work in the fields still more precarious. Israel is now in the process of constructing a section of the barrier wall on Palestinian land adjacent to the orchards.
Since the second intifada the village has experienced home demolitions, frequent and violent incursions of Israeli soldiers into the village, arrests of children taken in the night from their homes by soldiers, deaths due to military gunfire, destruction of trees, vines, and agricultural land by settlers, settler violence and intimidation of farmers while they work their land and the continuing loss of land due to expansion of the surrounding settlements.