The Palestinian village Burin, south of Nablus, has been cursed by being surrounded on both sides by some of the worst, most criminal colonies in the West Bank. To the south is Yitzhar colony, that contains the infamous Yitzhar Yeshivah. This colony has “given birth” to many illegal colonist outposts on all sides, inhabited by warring colonists who are determined to make the lives of the Palestinian villagers unbearable. On the other side of Burin, in the north, is the Har Brakha colony which is considered relatively moderate, but it too has yielded rotten fruit in the form of the illegal colonist outpost Giv’at Ronen, adjacent to the northernmost houses of Burin, an outpost that sees it its holy duty to make the lives of the villagers next to it unbearable to the point that they leave and the colonists would take over the land.
For years now, groups of terrorists from both sides of the village terrorize the villagers. They burn fruit tree groves, steal olives, beat farmers. The height of such activity and the ultimate bravery test of the thugs is to actually approach the homes of the villagers and set them on fire. Burning vehicles, smashing windows, breaking solar panels and ruining rooftop water tanks – goes without saying.
The Israeli army: at times it is summoned to help protect the villagers from these terrorists but often joins the stronger, more criminal side firing teargas and stun grenades into the village alleys. Naturally it does not arrest the criminals. At best, it politely asks them to stop and return to their ‘own’ houses.
Human rights activists have been accompanying Burin villagers for years now, helping them work their fields and harvest their olives. The activists have been attacked and injured more than once, both by the colonists and by the soldiers.
Lately, we have decided to help the villagers protect their homes. A few months ago we provided them with cameras. In recent weeks we have helped putting up fences around the outlying houses on both sides, north and south. Money for this project was raised after the infamous ‘Huwara Pogrom’. Funds have been diverted to Burin which is close to Huwara and its villagers are no less targeted.
So far We have fenced in two houses. The work is carried out by the villagers themselves and coordinated with them. Some of it is actually done by them, and the rest by a contractor we have hired for this purpose. The villagers raise about 20% of the cost.
The person concentrating the work on the Palestinian side is our friend and partner Issa Souf from Hares village. We decide together with him and the Burin villagers who should be receiving the funds, and he makes contact with the villagers and the contractors. Together we have agreed on the two houses already fenced in, and the three other houses we have been aiming for.