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URGENT: Palestinian farmers protest Israeli confiscation of land and water
1:16pm Thu Sep 12 '02
phone: 052272524 [email protected]
Demonstration this Friday to protest confiscation of land and water by the Israeli army.
For Immediate Release:
What: Palestinian farmers and international supporters hold prayer service and march protesting confiscation of farmland and water sources by the Israeli military.
When: Friday, 13 September 2002, Prayer Service at 12:30pm, March at 1:30pm
Where: Prayer Service in Beit Amin and March to Izbet Salman, West Bank, Palestine
Omar Sabhar, General Director, Ministry of Local Government, Palestinian National Authority, 059/837-606 from Israel/Palestinian Territories, (972-59)837-606 international
Osama Qashoo (Qalqilya, ISM) 052/225-703 from Israel/Palestinian Territories, (972-52)225-703 international
Garrick Ruiz (Los Angeles, ISM) 067/371-507 from Israel/Palestinian Territories, (972-67)371-507 international
Lisa Nessan (San Francisco Bay Area, ISM) 052/272-524 from Israel/Palestinian Territories, (972-52) 272-524 international
Kristin Razowsky (Flo) (Minneapolis Midwest Region, ISM) 067/361-708 from Israel/Palestinian Territories, (972-67) 361-708 international
Palestinian farmers from villages in the Tulkarem and Qalqilya regions of the Israeli occupied West Bank will gather Friday between Beit Amin and Izbet Salman to pray on their land. The Israeli Military plans to seize over 80,000 dunams of fertile farmland (one dunam is approximately a quarter acre) and nearly all of the region's 37 water wells. After the prayer the farmers will march to the neighboring community of Izbet Salman. Volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led organization which supports Palestinian nonviolent resistance to Israeli Occupation, will participate in the march.
These seizures of Palestinian land will result in the redrawing of the border between Israel and 1967 Occupied Palestine. Areas affected extend along the Israeli-Palestinian border, from Jenin to Hebron. The Israeli military claims the confiscations are necessary due to nonspecific security concerns.
Last week, the Israeli military notified farmers of the immediate seizure of their lands when Israeli soldiers placed handwritten documents signed by General Keflinsky in Palestinian olive orchards and croplands. Within days, bulldozers accompanied by military personnel began the destruction of acres of cultivated farmland and the cutting down of ancient olive trees laden with fruit ready for harvest in the coming month of October. According to the handwritten notices, the farmers had one week to appeal the decision; however, they have been unable to make an appeal due to military travel restrictions and Isreali administrative office closures for the celebration of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Israeli seizure will turn the area's subsistence level farmers into refugees, robbed of ancestral land and economic means of supporting their families. The area around Tulkarem and Qalqilya is one of the most fertile agricultural area in the West Bank and includes the Western Aquifer Area which supplies the primary irrigation and drinking water for the surrounding population. The region's economy is dependent on these wells and family farms, which have been under cultivation for generations.
This week, Israeli surveyors with armed Israeli soldiers continue to mark the areas slated for seizure. Painted and red ribbon markers have been placed meters away from villagers' homes, on agricultural greenhouses and trunks of fruit trees. Palestinian farmers state their only hope for holding onto their land is through international condemnation of the Israeli seizures.
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8:27pm Thu Sep 12 '02
i have trained myself over that past few years to always expect another side of any story (so i think to mjyself, the army must have some kind of reason....) but that does not takew away my feelings of sadness. i feel bad for that families, who for gbenerations have been working that land and who are now left without it. and i wonder what theor response will be-anger, grief, sadness-probably all of those and more. then i wonder if they'll go a tell their son/neihbor/cousin/father/sister/aunt/friend to stop shooting at passing cars or throwing rocks or blowing themselves up....
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Stop Israeli theft of Palestinian land...
by Dave Erickson
9:47am Fri Sep 13 '02
address: Kirkland, WA 98034 [email protected]
To all who will listen, including my elected politicians.
Please stop Israel from stealing Palestinian land. This action is not necessary to protect Israel. It is just part of Sharon's long term plan to take over for the Jews all of the West Bank and Gaza even though it will take years to complete. They have already built so many settlements and roads to those settlements that the Palestinians are pushed into many pockets of land and this is just another taking of the Palestinians land to acheive their ultimate goal.
Let them leave their Army in the West Bank for now to protect Israel but please stop them from stealing more and more land and building more and more settlements. I commend President Bush for calling for an Independent Palestinian State however it's time for action to stop Israel from stealing the land of the future State of Palestine.
Dave Erickson, 13035 87th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
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