Nestled atop a picturesque hill surrounded by sprawling fields, the village of Beit Dajan is a hidden gem in the heart of Palestine.
One cannot help but notice the brilliantly adorned water treatment plant along its main road, arguably the most vibrant sewage facility in the entire Middle East.
Just 10 kilometers away lies the bustling city of Nablus, a hub of tourism and cultural experiences. However, beneath the scenic beauty lies a community that has been engaged in a relentless struggle to preserve its land against Israeli colonization.
Every weekend, the resilient Palestinians of Beit Dajan continue their fight against Israeli plans to displace them from their ancestral lands, making way for the construction of new colonial settlements.
Sometimes, they have drawn inspiration from their counterparts in Beita and adopted the strategy of night disturbances as part of their resistance.
Fight Against Settlement Expansion
The saga of protests in Beit Dajan traces its origins back to October 2020 when settlers established a settlement outpost on the village hills.
This outpost has effectively isolated around 25,000 dunums of Palestinian territory, denying the rightful owners access to their own land.
Determined Palestinian protesters successfully removed this illegal outpost, but their victory was short-lived. The very next day, state-backed Israeli settlers erected another outpost under the protection of the Israeli occupation army, which still stands to this day.
Peaceful Resistance Amidst Repression
Over the past two years, Palestinians in Beit Dajan have organized peaceful marches and activities as part of their resistance efforts.
These activities have included Friday prayers and the symbolic planting of olive seedlings on their lands, symbolizing their unwavering connection to the soil.
However, their peaceful endeavors have often been met with a harsh response from Israeli occupation troops, who employ tear gas canisters and live bullets to suppress the protests.
Herding: Tool of Colonialism
The Israeli settlers’ insidious strategy also includes using herding as a means to encroach upon Palestinian grazing areas.
They send livestock to graze on these lands, gradually taking over and displacing Palestinians. Currently, there are 77 Israeli farms and shepherding outposts spread across roughly 60,000 acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank, with 46 of them established in just the last five years.
This calculated approach aims to expand the Beit Dajan outpost to encompass 25,000 dunums out of the 48,000 dunums that constitute the village’s territory.
Homes Under Threat
Fifty houses in Beit Dajan currently face the threat of demolition at the hands of Israeli occupation authorities. Simultaneously, Israel has imposed severe restrictions on Palestinian construction in the area.
Furthermore, many families are forced to reside in cramped conditions in the village center and on its hills, enduring challenging economic circumstances as they are denied the opportunity to build homes on their own lands.
The resilient community of Beit Dajan stands as a symbol of the Palestinians’ determination in the face of colonization and dispossession.
Their ongoing struggle to protect their ancestral lands and resist the expansion of illegal settlements serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit of the Palestinian people.