Stop Maskiot settlers driving Palestinians off their land
Jordan Valley, West Bank, 29th April 2010
Urgent call for support from internationals in Palestine and around the world
For the last three weeks Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley been subject to a concerted campaign of harassment and intimidation. It is becoming quite clear that Israeli settlers from nearby Maskiot want to steal yet more land from Palestinian communities, and are being aided and abetted by the Israeli army and police
On 11th April the water was turned off in Bardala to prevent farmers from irrigating their crops, then on 12th April the Israeli occupation authorities declared the area of Ain Al-Maleh a closed military zone and prevented farmers and herders from entering their lands. The intimidation continued on 15th April when the Israeli occupation authorities raided Kirbet Al Farisiya and seized four water pumps belonging to local farmers.
The situation became far more serious on 25th April when armed settlers from Maskiot settlement, supported by the Israeli army and police from the settlement, erected a tent just 10 metres away from the entrance to the Palestinian Bedouin community of El Maleh and ordered the Bedouin community off the land. For four days this community refused to leave their home, despite constant abuse, harassment and intimidation, including theft of their property. Then, in the early hours of Thursday 29th the Army rewarded the settlers for their violence and theft. They declared the area a Closed Military Zone and forced the Bedouin family to dismantle their home and leave.
The previous evening, in a nearby Palestinian community two young Palestinian children were run over and killed by and Israeli army jeep. Local people believe this is connected to the earlier events in Al Maleh – the jeep had been driving round the area, constantly passing and intimidating local communities, and had circled around the tractor that the children were riding on, before driving straight over them.
The situation in this area is now very serious, with the local community being very worried about what will happen next. They have made repeated appeals over the last two weeks for support, and they need to know that support is available and people are able to act very quickly if they are subjected to further attacks.
Therezia, from Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group, who is in the area, has made this appeal:
“We desperately needed more internationals to come and support this community under threat. We are worried that the settlers will now try to use the same tactics in other areas, and it is really important that internationals in Palestine are able to respond quickly to support the communities in the Jordan Valley”
What can you do?
If you are in Palestine:
Contact Therezia or Fathy, ask them what support they need on the ground. They particularly need to hear from people who would be able to respond quickly in the event of further attacks.
Therezia 00972 597215876
Fathy 0599352266 or 0507799232
If you are not in Palestine:
Please write/email to the following to protest at the illegal actions of the Maskiot settlers, and to demand that the Bedouin community should be allowed to stay free from violence and intimidation.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence
Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940
+972 3 696 2757
+972 3 691 7915
Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3-569 4526
2nd Fax: +972 3 608 0366
Major-General Avi Mizrahi
Commander, West Bank
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149
Battalion 877, Israel Defense Forces
Fax: + 97225305724
Perhaps also the PM?
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan St.
PO Box 187
Hakirya, Jerusalem 91950