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Re-routing of Apartheid Wall in Qalqilya to annex land for settlement


In the Qalqilya region of the West bank, Israeli forces have begun rebuilding the Apartheid Wall to encompass the small villages of Ad Dab’a, Wadi ar Rasha, Ras at Tira, Arab Alramodin and Arab Abofarda. The villages were previously west of the Wall but ongoing protests, which did not halt construction, have merely changed the route. New plans, currently being implemented, will put the villages east of the Wall....

[51902]



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Re-routing of Apartheid Wall in Qalqilya to annex land for settlement

International Solidarity Movement

Apartheid Wall in Ras at Tira



Feb 17, 2009

16 February 2009

In the Qalqilya region of the West bank, Israeli forces have begun rebuilding the Apartheid Wall to encompass the small villages of Ad Dab’a, Wadi ar Rasha, Ras at Tira, Arab Alramodin and Arab Abofarda. The villages were previously west of the Wall but ongoing protests, which did not halt construction, have merely changed the route. New plans, currently being implemented, will put the villages east of the Wall.

On 15 September 2005, the High Court of Justice ruled that the Israeli military must reroute the wall to return these five villages to the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. However, on 31 July 2007, the High Court revised its ruling to require the return of only three of the villages to the Palestinian side of the wall, with Arab Alramodin and Arab Abofarda villages remaining on the west side of the Wall. These villages are very close to the settlement of Alfe Menashe and include lands desired by Israel for expansion of the illegal settlement. Israeli authorities are pressing for the removal of the population from those villages and their repatriation elsewhere in the West Bank.

Palestinian land to be illegaly annexed for growth of settlement

Palestinian land to be illegally annexed for growth of Alfe Menashe settlement

The new Wall will be constructed in such a way that will separate the three villages Ras at Tira, Wadi ar Rasha and Ad Dab’a from their agricultural land. Villages themselves will return to the Palestinian side, while their olive fields and agricultural land will stay on the Israeli side. As the majority of the people in these villages are farmers, they will be deprived of their livelihoods. The new construction will also do massive damage to the land, as a swath of approximately 70 meters wide by five kilometers long will be cleared and bulldozed with all existing trees and vegetation to be uprooted.

The new route proposed by the Israeli military offered the villagers the choice of leaving the old route which effectively annexed all of the five villages to Israel, or having three villages returned to the Palestinian side of the wall, but with their land to be annexed to Israel for settlement expansion. The village representatives have declined to accept either option, stating that the only acceptable remedy is for Israel to move its Apartheid Wall back to the internationally recognized "Green Line" border.

Meetings are currently taking place amongst the representatives of the five affected villages with plans to resist the new construction, using non-violent methods. They have stated that they are ready to protest every day to prevent the construction of the new route of the Apartheid Wall.

Villagers met with legal representatives on Sunday, 15th of February. The Civilian Administration of the Israeli army agreed to a one week delay before proceeding with construction while lawyers representing the villages prepare final arguments in their appeal.

It appears that the Israeli Civilian Administration’s agreement to a one week delay for appeals was at best a token gesture with the outcome already predetermined. At worst it appears that the Israeli authorities may not intend to honor their promise and may be planning to begin their destructive work immediately. The villages’ representatives have requested an international presence in their villages to monitor this newest illegal activity of the Israeli government. The villagers have expressed their hopes that international activists and the media will assist them in their struggle and help bring their case to the attention of the world.

On Tuesday 17th of February, representatives of Ras at Tira, Al Dab’a, and Wadi al Rasha met to discuss their options as presented by the Israeli military. The villagers agreed with the proposed return of their three villages with an area of 3500 dunams to the Palestinian side of the wall, but also demand the return of the remaining 2500 dunams of land which belong to the villages. While the meeting was in progress, the Israeli military began moving bulldozers and other heavy equipment into Wadi al Rasha.

Israeli surveyors and construction workers have already begun marking the route for the new Wall. It appears also that a campaign of intimidation has begun, with Israeli police harassing business and equipment owners and accusing them of theft of machinery from nearby settlements. The ensuing arrests and bail demands seem designed to intimidate the villagers in hopes of preventing organized resistance to the plans for the imposition of an Israeli designed final solution to the controversial issue.

Israeli Police Charging Villagers with Equipment Theft in Ras at Tira:

On the 8th of February, 2009 at about 8 pm, a shop owner in the small village Ras at Tira was arrested by an Israeli police who accused him of stealing the electricity generators which were being used to provide power to his shop. The shop owner states that one of the generators was bought five years ago and the other fifteen years ago.

The police vehicle was accompanied by six soldiers in a military jeep. The shop owner and his generators were driven to a nearby settlement police station and kept until one in the morning. At the police station, the man was interrogated and apparently charged with the theft of generators.  He was released upon payment of a bail of 2400 shekels.  The generators remain in police custody pending the upcoming court date in April.

On Saturday, 14 February, Israeli police confronted the owner of a backhoe tractor with the accusation that it was stolen and demanded that the owner and tractor be transported to an Israeli settlement for an inquiry.  The tractor’s owner requested the police to do their investigation without removing the tractor as all information is readily available simply by the police inspecting the machine in its present location.



:: Article nr. 51902 sent on 09-nov-2009 11:20 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=51902

Link: palsolidarity.org/2009/02/5440



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