Posts Tagged ‘settlement’
Al Jazeera’s documentary series, Witness, highlights the crisis in Wadi Fuqeen.
from Friends of Wadi Fuqeen: “This is a film about our adopted village of Wadi Fuqeen, its link with people in the Israeli town of Tsur Hadassah and their struggle against pollution. The villagers work closely with people from Tsur Hadassah to try to win peace for the whole community.”
The battle over access to clean water sources is ongoing across the West Bank, with illegal Israeli settlements frequently blocking access and polluting Palestinian farmers’ irrigation.
But in the valley of Wadi Fukin, Palestinian and Israeli villagers work together on projects to preserve water supplies and protect their local environment. This cooperation is exceptional in the region, but the huge gains both sides have made are now threatened.
The separation wall is approaching and will physically divide the communities, putting an end to their collaboration and adversely affecting local water sources.
Local farmer Abu Mazen, some of his neighbours and their Israeli counterparts took the authorities to court to halt the construction of the wall. This timely film looks at an issue of crucial importance to both Palestinians and Israelis and sets the context to the villagers’ legal fight.
The story of how Palestinians and Israelis in one West Bank village are working together to preserve water supplies.
0845 611 6111
0800 636 262
Join PSC and BDS campaigners by calling Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s TODAY!
Some questions you should ask:
Morrisons/Sainsbury’s claims to have an ethical policy, yet it stocks produce from Israel, a country which is in daily breach of international law and international human rights legislation.
Does Morrisons/Sainsbury’s condone Israel’s illegal actions? If not, how do Israel’s flagrant violations of international law fit into the supermarket’s ethical policy?
Is Morrisons/Sainsbury’s aware that produce from Israeli settlements is grown on land that has been stolen from the Palestinians of the West Bank?
By stocking settlement goods, Morrisons/Sainsbury’s is tacitly acknowledging the right of countries to invade and occupy land, and to ignore UN resolutions calling for the return of that land to its indigenous population. How does that square with the supermarket’s ethical policy?
Are you aware that the Palestinians who work in settlement farms and industrial zones do not have equal rights with the Israeli citizens who also work there?
How does the sub-standard treatment of Palestinian workers in the settlements, and the clear breach of their human rights on a daily basis, fit in with the supermarket’s ethical policy?
PSC’s website has some useful points that can be used to reinforce your case when asking these questions, read them here…
HAR BRACHA, West Bank — Twice a year, American evangelicals show up at a winery in this Jewish settlement in the hills of ancient Samaria to play a direct role in biblical prophecy, picking grapes and pruning vines.
Believing that Christian help for Jewish winemakers here in the occupied West Bank foretells Christ’s second coming, they are recruited by a Tennessee-based charity called HaYovel that invites volunteers “to labor side by side with the people of Israel” and “to share with them a passion for the soon coming jubilee in Yeshua, messiah.”
But during their visit in February the volunteers found themselves in the middle of the fight for land that defines daily life here. When the evangelicals headed into the vineyards, they were pelted with rocks by Palestinians who say the settlers have planted creeping grape vines on their land to claim it as their own. Two volunteers were hurt. In the ensuing scuffle, a settler guard shot a 17-year-old Palestinian shepherd in the leg.
“These people are filled with ideas that this is the Promised Land and their duty is to help the Jews,” said Izdat Said Qadoos of the neighboring Palestinian village. “It is not the Promised Land. It is our land.”
HaYovel is one of many groups in the United States using tax-exempt donations to help Jews establish permanence in the Israeli-occupied territories — effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state, widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace.
The result is a surprising juxtaposition: As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.
A New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.
We urge all members to contact their MPs or MEPs about Wadi Fuqeen – use our directory for contact information…
“Curfew in Husan leaves Wadi Fuqeen without access to Bethlehem plus freshwater springs and 2,000 year old irrigation system under threat.”
Two evenings ago, villagers in Wadi Fuqeen were alarmed to hear the sounds of trouble with the Israelis in the nearby village of Husan, which lies slightly to the east. A curfew was immediately imposed upon it. This means that the Wadi Fuqeen will be isolated for few days as well because villagers can only gain access to Bethlehem if they go through Husan. This is the reality caused by the winding path of the separation barrier and many so called ‘security measures’ imposed by the Israelis.
In any case, Israeli jeeps have now begun to patrol the village of Wadi Fuqeen on a regular basis. ‘Flying’ checkpoints have also begun to appear at the entrance to the village – both during the day and overnight.
Two weeks ago three workers from the district of Hebron were beaten by the Israeli soldiers in an area to the northeast of the village while trying to sneak through into Israel in order to find work. They were later admitted to Beit Jala hospital.
The separation wall is not yet fully in place around Wadi Fuqeen. The route of the wall is subject to a legal challenge and this has somewhat delayed its building, although many of its footings are already in place. The village is therefore a favourite route for those impoverished Palestinians desperate to find illegal work in Israel. They try to slip through without being seen by the Israeli patrols.
Looking at longer term developments, Wadi Fuqeen is facing a worrying situation in relation to its water sources. Something is drastically affecting the water table. Local springs that held water just a couple of years ago are now dry, leaving the fields around them suddenly barren. The village’s 2,000 year old agricultural system of wells and terracing is now under threat.
For further in-depth information on this extremely worrying development, please visit the Wadi Fuqeen Village website… – In addition to the above update, there is lots of background information on the website that will help with letter-writing.
In particular, the problem with the water sources and the problem of the sewage spillages from the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit need highlighting. Read more: The Settlers Next Door: Notes from Wadi Fukin & watch this video:
A few news reports from Al Jazeera English…
Israel floods settlements with subsidies
Israel has announced a partial moratorium on settlement construction. Yet, at the same time, it has invested in those already established in a bid to solidify their existence.
In the Jordan Valley there are 22 settlements viewed as illegal under international law.
But, as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, they benefit from a system of Israeli funding specifically focused on kick-starting settler economies.
Israel vows action against settlers
Give with one hand (above) and take with the other:
The Israeli army is planning to use special commando units, unmanned spy planes and mobile phone-jamming equipment to prevent new settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, according to a leaked report.
Army officials said the plan is only a “first draft” for potential measures to enforce a 10-months settlement suspension announced last month.
Inspectors tasked with monitoring the suspension have been repeatedly clashing with settlers since the halt and the leaked document is expected to raise tensions further.
Israel ‘outsourcing’ the occupation
Right from the Pentagon/BlackwaterXe playbook:
Concern is growing among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as Israel steps up its use of private security contractors to patrol Palestinian territories.
The private firms are being used to help patrol checkpoints and protect illegal settlements in what has become a multi-billion dollar business for Israeli security companies.
But as Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports, some Palestinians are concerned that the private companies are using a different set of rules than the army, and this has raised new legal issues.
More4 News, 2008:
“As hope is rekindled in the Middle East peace process More4 News travels to the disputed areas of the West Bank to meet the only English settler.”
As hope is rekindled in the Middle East peace process More4 News travels to the disputed areas of the West Bank to meet the only English settler. Restarting the Middle East peace process looks like it might be a step closer after Israel said it was nearing agreement on settlement building in the West Bank. Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu met the US envoy George Mitchell in London today and settlement-building was the key topic.
Palestinians have always seen the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as one of the key obstacles to a final peace agreement. The settlements have grown steadily since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1969 – and now nearly half a million Israeli settlers live in the occupied territories. The Israelis agreed to stop building new settlements in 2003 as part of what was called the roadmap to peace. But expansion of existing settlements has continued. The Palestinians have refused to enter new negotiations with Israel until all building stops.
The Jewish settlers in the occupied territories have come from all over the world – more recently from Russia and the former Soviet republics. But others have come from closer to home. Much of the world believes new settlers are one of the main reasons that conflict with the Palestinians persists, but they believe they are fulfilling their duty in occupying their own ancestral land.
Matthew Kalman has been visiting one of the smallest settlements in the West Bank to meet an English woman called Shira Gilad.
Settlement goods labelling: The PSC would like to thank all its members and supporters, and all the organisations that worked with us, for their pressure on labelling goods from illegal Israeli settlements. The pressure worked – Defra released guidance yesterday! This is a good step in the right direction, but we need to keep the pressure up – the government must ban settlement goods – and build the boycott of Israeli goods!
This week’s other updates includes:
- Links to the Guardian article quoting PSC, the TUC and Oxfam
- Protest against Tzipi Livni speaking at JNF event on Sun 13th December
- PSC branches – including Bradford, York, South East London, Reading, Waltham Forest and Lambeth – are all on their way to Gaza with medical supplies and ambulances – follow the convoy online!