(Photo1 : Elon Moreh colony)
In related envelopment, at the beginning of current September, Elon Moreh settlers took over a 70 dunums piece of land from Deir Al Hatab located in the vicinity of the colony. The land was fenced, plowed and planted with different types of trees. The settlers' move came as a direct result of the Israeli continuous ban on land inaccessibility under security pretexts and as a step forward to create more facts on the ground on the part of the Israeli settlers who are keen to take advantage of such opportunities.
On the other hand, settlers in Elon Moreh continue, between now and then, to cut electricity power from the village of Deir Al Hatab by damaging the power lines, which, in effect, has caused real difficulties for the local community. The settlers always go unpunished after each complaint presented by the Palestinian victims.
New colonial road
In 1996, the Israeli occupation authorities opened a colonial road at the width of 20 meters which bypasses and besieges the villages of Deir Al Hatab, Salim and Azmut from south, east and north. By so doing, more than 6000 dunums of agricultural land affiliated to the three villages have been separated behind this road. Ever since the establishment of this road, Palestinian farmers, land owners and shepherds trying to cross the road on way to their land are facing daily harassments and violations at the hands of settlers and soldiers alike which include, among others: dismissal from fields, stealing of yields, specially olives and confiscation of cattle.
Moreover, a group of settlers from Elon Moreh occupied a hilltop owned by villagers from Salim with a total area of 100 dunum. It is located to the east of Elon Moreh colony and contains 2 caravans (mobile homes), two sheep barracks, a water tank, an electric generator and a military watch tower. As a result of this, about 2000 dunums are now trapped between the mother colony and the colonial post and the Palestinians are denied access to this land for security claims. The land was used in the past for the cultivation of cereals and olive trees.
Introduction to Deir Al Hatab & salim villages
Both villages are located in Nablus governorate. Deir Al Hatab is located about 4 km to the east of Nablus city. It has the total land area of 10874 dunums of which 190 dunums are built up area. The village population mounts to 2550 ( source: LRC GIS unit).
Salim village is 5 km to the east of Nablus with a total land area of 10793 dunums of which 712 dunums are built up area. Its population mounts to 5750 ( source-ibid).
Elon Moreh colony
Established in 1979 over the lands of Deir Al Hatab, Azmut and Salim. According to the Foundation for Middle East Peace it had the total settler population of 1212 in the year 2005. Its municipal area is now estimated at 2000 dunums of which 419 dunums are designed as a built up zone.