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Palestinians demonstrate against sewage settlers spill onto their land

About 100 Palestinians from the ancient village of Sebastia and their supporters held a demonstration today to protest against settlers spilling their sewage onto the village’s agricultural lands. This was the third demonstration in two months; villagers are starting weekly demonstrations, much like the ones against the wall and settlements that take place every Friday in Bil’in, Ni’ilin, Ma’asara, Nabi Saleh and Qaddum. Demonstrations took place in all of those villages as well on Friday, some of them with violent confrontations with army forces. In addition, activists in the newly formed popular committee say they are planning to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Sebastia villagers on their way to their lands (Haggai Matar)

Sebastia villagers on their way to their lands (Haggai Matar)

Demonstrators convened in the center of the village at around noon and were joined by Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti (of the Mubadara party), activists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, some from popular committees in other villages and Israeli and international solidarity activists. Several speakers talked about the sewage, that since December has been flowing into their fields from the nearby settlement of Shavei Shomron. However, they also explained that the sewage was only one symptom of the occupation, alongside land grabs, uprooting of trees, limitations on freedom of movement and they stressed that the protest was against the occupation as a whole.

Shavey Shomron settlement out of reach for the demonstration (Haggai Matar)

The Shavei Shomron settlement is out of reach of the demonstration. (Haggai Matar)

“Settlers offered [to] avoid spilling the sewage onto our lands if we let them connect to our sewage system,” explained Ahmed Qaid, a computer engineer, football trainer and activist in the popular committee. “We refused because they are sitting on lands that were stolen from us and four neighboring villages, and we want them out of our lands – not to welcome them and offer them use of our infrastructure.”

Small stream of sewage running through village lands (Haggai Matar)

A small stream of sewage running through Sebastia’s village lands. (Haggai Matar)

After marching and chanting for about 15 minutes, demonstrators arrived at the field where a small stream of sewage water was running and the settlement was visible. They were met by some 20 soldiers, who declared the area a closed military zone and said the demonstrators had 25 minutes to disperse. After praying on the land, demonstrators started marching toward the settlement and were met with tear gas grenades, which were soon after answered by stones from the village youth.

It seemed, however, that both sides were trying to prevent things from escalating, and within about half an hour the demonstration ended. One teenager was slightly injured by a rubber bullet and one international was captured by soldiers, only to be “de-arrested” later by his friends. The demonstration also commemorated Palestinian Land Day (March 30), a national day of struggle against land expropriations.

Palestinians are also commemorating Land Day against land grabs (Haggai Matar)

Palestinians are also commemorating Land Day against land grabs. (Haggai Matar)

With its 4,500 inhabitants, the village of Sebastia is strategically located on a mount in the heart of a plain surrounded by hills. It is this perfect location that attracted empires of old, relics of which can still be found throughout the village. In Israelite times (around the 8th and 9th centuries BC) the village was known as Shomron (Samaria) and was the capital of the Israelite Kingdom (while Jerusalem remained the heart of Judea). The Israelite palace, a Roman temple, a Greek theater and a Byzantine church are all found at the top of a hill.

Palestinian youth watching soldiers with stones in his hands (Haggai Matar)

A Palestinian youth watches soldiers with stones in his hands. (Haggai Matar)

The historic site is regularly visited by Palestinian and foreign tourists. Since it was proclaimed an Israeli national park, settlers go there several times a year with soldiers serving as their security units. Just yesterday, 500 settlers made use of the Passover holiday and camped in the site, while soldiers prevented Palestinian entry to it. Sebastia was also the first place where attempts were made to build a settlement; an attempt which failed eventually but led to the founding of the Kedumim and Shavei Shomron settlements on nearby lands.

View of Roman theater and landscape in Sabatia historical site (Haggai Matar)

View of the Roman theater and landscape in Sabatia’s historical site. (Haggai Matar)

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  • COMMENTS

    1. The State, having enabled the settlement, is responsible for its sewage. The PA, or municipality, might accept ongoing payment for sewer connection, or not. But, if not, the sewage remains the responsibility of the State.

      A national park declared east of the Green Line (and Wall) is a clear signal of intended permanent soverignty.

      A generalization of the Wall protests, each time with a clear material goal, sounds like the way to go.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >The State, having enabled the settlement, is responsible for its sewage.

        There is no such obligation under any law.

        >A national park declared east of the Green Line (and Wall) is a clear signal of intended permanent sovereignty.

        What’s wrong with that? Neither the Green Line, nor the Wall are boundaries. Certainly not of hypothetical “Palestinian” state.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oriol2

          Is there any law which requires the Palestinian villages to provide services for the settlers? Under which jurisdiction? And if there is not such a law -and most probably there isn’t, since the settlers would have invoked it-, is it legal to spill sewage on privately owned farming land (or in any public land)?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Since there is no obligation for Palestinian villagers to provide sewage services to Israelis AND Palestinians would rather walk knee-dip in shit than cooperate with Israelis, it seems that there is no legal obstacles to improper sewage handling.

            It would be interesting to see what the law of the (almost) independent State of Palestine would say regarding that.

            Reply to Comment
          • eva

            The law would suggest that Israel stop funding new settlers to steal new land and thus stop helping the stealers to live a better life with the natural resources and the infrastructures of the occupied people.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            No new settlemets were founded for a few decades now, so you should make up another law.

            Reply to Comment
          • Eva said “new settlers,” not “new settlements”; and even you cannot pretend away the growth of settlers this past decade. As to the no “new settlements” founded–you mean legally approved. Small little grouping sprout up. But, student of Kafka, none of this matters.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Eva said “new settlers,” not “new settlements”; and even you cannot pretend away the growth of settlers this past decade.

            Well, yeah. It is quite unimaginable. These horrible settlers are fucking (with each other, thank g-d, no Arabs are hurt in the process) and are giving birth to new little settlers.

            Would you suggest neutering all new settlers, including children under the age of 12?

            Besides, it is still rather unclear what and by what law should be considered as an illegal settlement. Armistice lines aren’t legal borders, you know.

            > As to the no “new settlements” founded–you mean legally approved. Small little grouping sprout up.

            Sprout up and are being bulldozed on almost weekly basis. However such stories seldom make it to 972. I’d suggest you start visiting the Arutz 7, for some propaganda from the other side.

            >But, student of Kafka, none of this matters.

            For some it does not matter that Palestinian Arabs were declining all possibilities for peace and coexistence for over half century.

            Reply to Comment
          • Oriol2

            Well, it’s hard to swallow that someone who is so fond of the word “retard” (applied to others) should make a parody of himself by presenting this bullshit as a kind of legal argument.
            By the way, you didn’t answer my question.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Well, it’s hard to swallow that someone who is so fond of the word “retard”…

            You must’ve confused me with someone else – I’ve used the word “retard” only once or twice during last few months.

            >By the way, you didn’t answer my question.

            I did.

            Reply to Comment
        • There IS an obligation to clean up sewage in Israel proper. You increasingly assert permanent soverignty over the Bank (letting the election get to your head); so you will have to exclude Israeli law in the Bank. Having declared soverignty, this is apartheid and anti-democratic.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >There IS an obligation to clean up sewage in Israel proper.

            1 – No. 2 – This is not Israel proper.

            >You increasingly assert permanent sovereignty over the Bank (letting the election get to your head);

            Nonsense.

            >so you will have to exclude Israeli law in the Bank. Having declared sovereignty, this is apartheid and anti-democratic.

            Nonsense, as follows from previous.

            Reply to Comment
        • Leen

          Actually, 42% of the village of Sebastia is part of Area C. As such, it is under the Israeli civil jurisdiction, which means it is responsible for sewage control. So yes 42% of the sewage is Israel’s responsibility.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You should learn Israeli laws first.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Are you saying Area C is not under Israeli civil control and jurisdiction?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            No, I’m referring to water and sewage laws.

            In short – the state is not obliged to handle sewage.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Palestinan

      From time to time we have to swallow their myths ,notice history always starts with the “chosen” .

      Reply to Comment
    3. tod

      the only very little consolation is that these settlers are aware that almost the entire planet consider them as bandits

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        The likes of you hardly represent entire planet, or even it’s significant part, thank g-d.

        Reply to Comment
        • Zephon

          You would be grossly wrong if you think the planet agrees with you. But I’ve gotten used to watching you delude yourself into thinking you’re right. It’s funny.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Dude, you really should stop thinking for other people – until you learn to think for yourself, at least.

            I never said that the planet agrees with us, did I?

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            Trespasser, you live in a fake ideologic bubble, exactly like the settlers. ALL the international organizations as well as the huge percentage of the inhabitants of this world perceive settlers as crazy (mainly russian) cowboys. The bandits are aware of it.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >ALL the international organizations…

            Would you please be so kind and list relevant organizations?

            >as well as the huge percentage of the inhabitants of this world

            hahaha

            That’s a nice leap of faith.

            Just for your information – there is more to this world than EU and USA.

            >perceive settlers as crazy (mainly russian) cowboys.

            You hate Russia too much to have a moral right to call other people “Nazis”.
            Why is that? Your grand-father was in SS and haven’t returned?

            >The bandits are aware of it.

            Since people hated Jews even before the first settlemen had risen, I’d say that you are speaking of pure Judeophobia.
            Well, thank g-d we don’t have to listen to whatever shithead haters are saying.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            I know that you feel much better playing the cards of “nazis”, “ss”, “judeophobia” and other staff that came out only from your posts. As for me – although I know that this will complicate your ideologic bubble construction – I am totally in favour of Israel and Jews in general. I am against bandists that want to steal the lives, the natural resources and the dignity of million of human beings applying an ideological and selective use of religion and international law. Most of the Russians that went to colonize the West Bank (many of them are not even Jews) exploited religion and international law for their colonial purposes.
            Anyway, it is not the private decision by a large number of Israeli nationals or Jews to move, of their own free will, into the Palestinian occupied territories that is a violation of international law. It is the state policy of Israel to encourage such movements of population that is a violation of Art. 49(6) GC IV. This interpretation of Art. 49(6) is not only that of the ICJ, but also that of the UN Security Council and practically every other state but Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >I am totally in favour of Israel and Jews in general.

            Bullshit.

            >I am against bandists that want to steal the lives, the natural resources and the dignity of million of human beings applying an ideological and selective use of religion and international law.

            But Israel in whole was established by bandits and had stolen lives, natural resources and dignity of nearly million of Arabs. How can you be in favor of it?

            >Most of the Russians that went to colonize the West Bank (many of them are not even Jews) exploited religion and international law for their colonial purposes.

            One of most idiotic sentenses ever written.
            Obviously, you haven’t ever been to the WB and haven’t ever spoken to an Israeli who lives there.
            Yeah, by the way, how do you know that they are not Jewish? You didn’t check their penises… Or did you?

            >It is the state policy of Israel to encourage such movements of population that is a violation of Art. 49(6) GC IV.

            A violation of INTERPRITATION of GC IV, which is not qute the same.

            >This interpretation of Art. 49(6) is not only that of the ICJ, but also that of the UN Security Council and practically every other state but Israel.

            The interpritation, as you’ve said. By your logic if any majority believes in something, it must be so, automatically.

            Apparetly you haven’t studied enough to know that any majority is wrong. Mathematically.

            Which is the reason why so-called “democracy” is not stable and not self-sustaining.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            “Bullshit.”

            You know me too well.
            .
            “But Israel in whole was established by bandits and had stolen lives, natural resources and dignity of nearly million of Arabs. How can you be in favor of it?”.

            Again your childish attempt to play the “victim card” putting in my mouth your “fly-down approach”.
            .
            “One of most idiotic sentenses ever written. Obviously, you haven’t ever been to the WB and haven’t ever spoken to an Israeli who lives there”

            I spent 1 year and a half in the WB. That’s why I know that you don’t have any clue about what you are discussing about.
            .
            “Yeah, by the way, how do you know that they are not Jewish? You didn’t check their penises… Or did you?”

            A low-level human being writes always using low-level expressions. Study a bit the topic, then come back.
            .
            “A violation of INTERPRITATION of GC IV, which is not qute the same”:

            bravo.
            .
            “By your logic if any majority believes in something, it must be so, automatically”:

            My logic is that if there is not 1 single state on this world that recognizes the occupation of the Palestinian Territories as legal this means that people like you live in a ideologic bubble.
            .
            “Apparently you haven’t studied enough to know that any majority is wrong. Mathematically.”:

            Majority is always less wrong that a dwarf minority (of bandits)
            .
            “Which is the reason why so-called “democracy” is not stable and not self-sustaining”:

            A fascist pro-settlers cannot be in favour of democracy. No doubt about it.

            Reply to Comment
    4. The Trespasser

      Dude, you have some reasoning problem.

      A rational, well-informed and decent person cannot be pro-Israel and anti-Settlement at the same time.

      Dunno really where you were in the WB for a year and a half, or who you were speaking to; however I’ve lived in the WB settlement for well over a decade, have visited numerous other settlements, etc., etc.

      >My logic is that if there is not 1 single state on this world that recognizes the occupation of the Palestinian Territories as legal this means that people like you live in a ideological bubble.

      There is no “legal occupation” or “illegal occupation”. The question is whether Israeli presence in the WB falls under the definition of occupation as per 4GC.

      >Majority is always less wrong that a dwarf minority (of bandits)

      Not quite necessarily. Besides, your definition of “bandits” is rather vague and could include most Israelis, which would somewhat contradict your claims that you are in favour of Israel.

      >A fascist pro-settlers cannot be in favour of democracy. No doubt about it.

      Why would a sane and a reasonable person would be in favour of an inherently inefficient and prone to failures system?

      Reply to Comment
      • carl

        “A rational, well-informed and decent person cannot be pro-Israel and anti-Settlement at the same time”:

        The opposite is true. A decent, and more than everything well-informed person, cannot support Israel while denying “the others” to live a decent life. If you lived in a bubble in Ariel – instead of living or visiting Shuafat Camp, Naalin or…Tulkarem – you cannot have any clue of how detrimental is you ideologic approach for million of other human beings that already had paid a big price.
        .
        “I’ve lived in the WB settlement for well over a decade”:

        You should feel as a dwarf. I know that you do not, like many other immoral persons of the history did not think to be immoral during their lives. But after your life your God will show you which consequences your fanatic approach had on other human beings and which consequences you have to pay for this. What goes around come around.
        .
        “There is no “legal occupation” or “illegal occupation”:

        Israel’s presence in the Pal Territories is considered illegal by any state and international organization except 1: Israel itself. So feel free to speak about an occupation, or an illegal attempt to exploit the land of other people, or a colonial mind-set approach or whatever fit best for you.
        .
        “Not quite necessarily”:

        I know, for you is the dwarf minority that is chosen and enlighted. Sorry if the rest of the world think differently.
        .
        “your definition of “bandits” is rather vague and could include most Israelis, which would somewhat contradict your claims that you are in favour of Israel”:

        In your ideologic bubble there is no space for anything else then white or black. I tell you a secret. There are a few billions of human beings that respect Israel and its right to exist and that at the same time consider settlers as bandits that use religion and international law in a selective and fascist way (exactly like you).
        .
        “Why would a sane and a reasonable person would be in favour of an inherently inefficient and prone to failures system?”

        Because “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” But, again, for a fascist pro-settlers is hard to get this.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          I understand that not everyone is capable of easily accepting new ideas, especially those ideas that could ruin their, carefully crafted, self-righteous image, so I’ll be patient

          >A decent, and more than everything well-informed person, cannot support Israel while denying “the others” to live a decent life.

          For the third time:
          Israel is existing STRICTLY because “the others” were denied rights.

          Supporting Israel, while rejecting settlements is equal to proclaiming that those Palestinian Arabs who did not run away entitled to more rights than those who did.

          >Israel’s presence in the Pal Territories is considered illegal by any state and international organization except 1: Israel itself.

          And what exactly are borders of “Pal Territories”?

          Entire Palestine?
          1947 Partition Plan?
          Post 1948 war?
          Post 1967 war?
          Post 2nd Intifada?
          Post Cast Lead?

          By what law and jurisdiction?

          >There are a few billions of human beings that respect Israel and its right to exist and that at the same time consider settlers as bandits that use religion and international law in a selective and fascist way (exactly like you).

          That’s a neat heap of leftist bullshit.

          1 – You won’t find “a few billions (few = 3 and more) of human beings that respect Israel”.

          2 – It’s only in leftists mind settlers are “bandits”. For the great most of Earth’s population there is nothing more natural than taking lands of a neighbour.

          3 – By your logic Arabs have rights to the Temple Mount – because they think that it is written so in Quran, but Jews have no rights for Judea and Samaria because it is written so in Torah.

          >Because “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

          Repeating other peoples’ words would hardly increase quality and quantity of your brain cells, however I’m sure that you wouldn’t be bothered by that.

          p.s. remainder of your post contains nothing but rather pathetic ad-hominem attacks and won’t be related.

          Reply to Comment
        • Leen

          Correction, even the Israeli High Court considers Israel’s control of the West Bank as an occupation, albeit a belligerent one (meaning a temporary one).

          Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Which really means that every court in Israel is legally binded to that ruling, hence there is no question in Israel that this is considered an occupation, but according to Israeli court ruling a ‘temporary one’.

            Reply to Comment
    5. carl

      “I understand that not everyone is capable of easily accepting new ideas”:
      To steal, as cowboys, the natural resources and the land of other people through a selective use of religion and international law is not a ‘new idea’
      .
      “Israel is existing STRICTLY because “the others” were denied rights”:
      No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners (Uri Avnery). Moreover, no one has the right to steal the natural resources and the lives of other millions of people using well rooted excuses.
      .
      “Supporting Israel, while rejecting settlements is equal to proclaiming that those Palestinian Arabs who did not run away entitled to more rights than those who did”:
      LOL. When Israel was created, the Palestinians were already here, and accounted for the vast majority of the local population. This is why there are now over one million Palestinians in Israel, many of whom are known as ‘internally displaced persons’. In constrast to this, settlers arrived in the Palestinian territories through violence and incentives received in recent years from Israeli governments.
      .
      “And what exactly are borders of “Pal Territories”?:

      Other excuses that only a settler could conceive. And so, which are the borders of Israel? Can we start to build settlements inside of Israel just because there are not yet established borders between the non-member State of Palestine and Israel?
      .
      By what law and jurisdiction?
      You can start from the Hague convention of 1907 passing through the White Paper of 1922 accept by the Zionist leadership before that the Mandate was granted:
      “In this connection it has been observed with satisfaction that at a meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims “the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the COMMON HOME into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to EACH OF ITS PEOPLES an undisturbed NATIONAL development”‘.
      .
      “It’s only in leftists mind settlers are “bandits”:
      You are wrong. There is an international consensus. It is not a matter of what me or you think. If no state or international organization in the world recognizes the legitimacy of the settlements it means that they are illegal and that the bandits should not be there, unless they ask for being there. Is it so difficult? Bandits are considered as such independently of political inclinations. I am a center-right wing voter, but also for me bandits are bandits.
      .
      “For the great most of Earth’s population there is nothing more natural than taking lands of a neighbour”:
      that’s the tipical excuse of a settler. But also a settler realizes that to take the last peace of land of a people that already gave up the huge percentage of what was its motherland is immoral, if not criminal.
      .
      “By your logic Arabs have rights to the Temple Mount – because they think that it is written so in Quran, but Jews have no rights for Judea and Samaria because it is written so in Torah”:
      the simple fact that a place is mentioned in your holy book does not give you any political right on it. Moreover, why, if religion can be used for political purposes, Israel should keep, let’s say, Ashdod, that was never-ever “Israelite”. You want all the cake mr. settler?
      .
      “Repeating other peoples’ words would hardly increase quality and quantity of your brain cells, however I’m sure that you wouldn’t be bothered by that”:
      You are so full of knowledge and arguments.
      .
      “remainder of your post contains nothing but rather pathetic ad-hominem attacks and won’t be related”:
      The pathetic ad-hominem attacks are only the one that settlers like you move against millions of human beings who are obliged to deal with new fanatic immigrants. Fanaticism and ignorance are not the right answers.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Are you really THAT dumb, or it is my explanations, which are too complicated?

        >No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners (Uri Avnery). Moreover, no one has the right to steal the natural resources and the lives of other millions of people using well rooted excuses.

        So how can you be pro-Israel, if the state was created by dispossessing nearly one million of human beings?

        Reply to Comment
        • carl

          Mr settler, the fact that Israel had all the legitimacy to be created does not change at all the fact that hundred of thousand of women an man paid a huge price and that even if somebody would have asked to them accept the partition their sacrifice (58% of what they considered their historical homeland was supposed to become part of the new State of ISrael). In your white and black world there is space for other colours?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Israel had the legitimacy to be created? Without consent of indigenous population?

            Oh, I see.

            In your world legitimacy of whatever is defined whether some of foreign citizens have had voted for that.

            Reply to Comment
    6. shaun

      Something stinks here. Shavei Shomorn is located below Sebastia, so unless the settlers have found a way to pump sewage uphill, this story is S*&T

      Reply to Comment
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