Kifl Hares and the Settler Partying

00:00 Apr 5 2012 Hares (Kifl Ḩārith)

By Michele Monni
Palestine Monitor

Kifl Hares is a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank, located six kilometers west of Salfit and 18km south of Nablus in the Salfit Governorate, northwest of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel.

On several occasions, thousands of ultra-orthodox Jews descend on the Palestinian village for a pilgrimage to three disputed tombs, praying and dancing at a site they claim holds the remains of biblical ancestors.

The pilgrimages, made under the protection of Israeli Occupation Forces who enforce a curfew on local Palestinian residents, usually take place before dawn on Fridays.

Biblical tradition places the tomb of Joshua, Caleb, and Nun, according to Joshua 24:30 in “Timnath-heres”, which is attributed to be the current location of Kifl Hares.

The claim that the village contains Jewish shrines is disputed by Ahmed Bouzia, the major of the town, who explained that the only religious sites in Kifl Hares are Muslim shrines linked to important personalities mentioned in the Qur’an.

“All three are Islamic graves, and no Jewish connection has ever been made,” said Bouzia, pointing out that Jewish settlers have been invading the village on a regular basis – more than 46 times in the past year. “As the keys of the shrines are held by Palestinians, the Israeli soldiers break the locks and doors every time.” Bouzia also said that one of the tombs contains the remains of his ancestor.
“Anyone who uses his eyes and head can see that these are Islamic graves,” insisted Bouzia.

On numerous occasions settlers have damaged and desecrated Palestinian tombstones, throwing garbage in the nearby graveyard and scrawling injurious graffiti on walls. Several cars belonging to the residents of Kifl Hares had their windows smashed or vandalized.

These invasions are causing great distress and suffering to the inhabitants of Kifl Hares, especially to the children who are terrorised by the soldiers and by the screams and chanting which usually last until late at night. They struggle to understand why they are forced into their homes and why their parents seem to be so worried by “those people” who, as they put it, have parties in their village.
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