The distressing events that took place in the village of Turmusaya in June 2023 were not the first of their kind. Prior to the Nakba, residents had passed down stories of "strangers" quietly residing on the outskirts of the village, located in the north of Ramallah along the road between Jerusalem and Nablus.
Following the occupation of the West Bank and the unwavering determination of the local people to remain in their homes, colonial ambitions began to surface in Turmusaya. This was evident in the escalated attacks on their lands and trees, with actions such as destruction and burning. Additionally, there were incidents of land confiscation and population displacement. Notably, the establishment of the Shiloh settlement in 1978 and the subsequent expansion of the Amichai settlement in 2018 were carried out, both of which are under the jurisdiction of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. The council oversees 32 settlements, spanning from Ramallah and Al-Bireh to Jerusalem, with a total settler population of 214,420 individuals.
The attacks on Turmusaya did not subside; instead, they intensified following the emergence of the violent "Hilltop Youth" gang, which is supported by the Zionist occupation. This group aimed to establish a random settlement outpost, posing a significant threat to the village that has now become a symbol of Ramallah governorate. The destructive actions of this gang extended to all villages in the West Bank, with the ultimate goal of aiding the occupying forces in land confiscation, subjecting Palestinians to harassment, and impeding their access to orchards and farms.
Over the course of two decades, APN has closely monitored developments in Palestinian villages. In response to the intense attacks witnessed in Turmusaya in recent years and the plea from its people to safeguard the fertile plain facing the threat of occupation's annexation and confiscation under the pretext that is considered a “wasteland”, the Million Trees Campaign took action. This initiative planted 3,500 diverse fruit trees in Turmusaya as a show of support for the long-standing resilience and determination of its people.