Palestinians shut out from their farms

Israeli occupation forces are preventing Palestinians from passing through gates in the separation barrier to work their farms, according to a human rights activist.

    Israel's wall is keeping many Palestinians from their property

    Khalid Yassin of Ram Allah Human Rights Centre told Aljazeera.net on Tuesday that farmers in the West Bank village of Mas'ha had in effect been banned from their properties since 4 July due to the closure of Gate 46.

    "Entry was always difficult - Israeli troops only allowed access at a couple of times during the day.

    "But now occupation forces have shut the gate for good, even though cattle still need to graze and crops need to be tended to. The olive harvest in October and November will be impossible," Yassin said.

    No access

    Yassin added that other gates, such as Gate 45, had been shut for more than 18 months and that farmers had no practicable access to their own land or any say about who might have access to it on the other side of the wall.

    "Soldiers told people in Mas'ha to use Gate 48 - which is an 11km walk. Is it reasonable to expect farmers to walk 44km every day just to visit their own farms on the other side of the wall?

    "In any case, they will not have the right permits to enter 48 - and will have next to no chance of successfully obtaining one," Yassin concluded.

    Delayed response

    Aljazeera.net contacted Israel's District Coordination Office in Qalqilya, the Civil Administration and a spokesman for Israeli occupation forces to explain why Gate 46 was shut.

    No one could give an immediate response.

    The separation wall was built through the Palestinian village of Mas'ha in September 2003.

    The built-up residential and business areas ended up on one side, with 92% (or 5700 dunams) of the agricultural land on the other.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    By 2050 the number of Muslims is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent, of the total US population.