Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign


Welcome to the Exeter Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website. Last updated: 17 January, 2010

Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 6:43 PM

Wild Boar and Raw Sewage

Many aspects of life under Occupation remain largely hidden from the world. All these "smaller" tactics make up the larger picture, a picture of removing Palestinians from the map. A few days ago I met a friend for coffee, we chatted about many things and naturally the conversation came to the olive harvest. His uncle is in bed, unable to move, with a broken back. On their first day harvesting he was viciously attacked by a wild boar. The releasing of wild boar into Palestinian land by the Israeli army, Israeli "nature guards" and Israeli settlers causes serious injury as well as vast destruction to crops and trees.  Naturally people are scared of these animals and it is another deterrent and obstacle to them safely accessing their land. It does not stop with wild boar, snakes have also been released. Little has been written about this, though there was an article on www.imemc.org around May time this year.

My friends family also had some ancient olive trees (around 1000 years old) burnt by the Israeli army. Apparently the trees were "too close" to the settlement. These ancient trees are not only part of the history and fabric of Palestinian society, but yield vast amounts of olives.

Recently I accompanied a family to their land in the village of Orif, near Nablus. The day before they had been attacked by settlers who threw rocks at them, one man needed medical treatment. In Occupied Palestine the parameters change. I feel relief that it was rocks and not bullets. There have been many times when Palestinians have been threatened by armed settlers, and occasions when this has resulted in serious injury or death.

Earlier this week I was at a conference in Jerusalem on torture, organised by the Israeli human rights group PCATI ( www.stoptorture.org.il ). They campaign to eradicate torture and ill treatment of detainees, particularly during interrogation. Whilst I was at the conference, other women from IWPS were busy here in
Salfeet. A farmer in a nearby village called early one morning, distraught. The bulldozers had arrived on his land. The village of Azzun Atma is a few kilometers inside the Green Line. It is one of the Palestinian villages which has ended up on the "wrong side" of the Wall, existing in limbo. There were 2 ways into the village, one is impassable because of a long term road block (a huge mound of earth and rubble), the other is controlled by a permanent checkpoint, which closes at 10pm every night. These "seam zone" villages have severely limited access to services. Someone needing emergency medical treatment at night faces a perilous situation of trying to get the checkpoint opened "out of hours". The Apartheid Wall to the East of the village is complete, effectively cutting off easy access to the rest of Palestine and leaving Azzun Atma on the "Israeli side" of the Wall. The construction work that is now underway is a Wall which will completely encircle the village, further isolating it. The existence of the illegal Israeli settlements are responsible for the route of the Wall and the imprisoning of Azzun Atma. The farmer had a small "victory". He managed to negotiate the path of the Wall back nearer to  the planned route, instead of the extra 15 meters inside his land which the bulldozers had already begun to churn up and destroy. Internationals sat in solidarity on the farmers land as he negotiated.

IWPS also went to a neighbouring village where land and trees are being destroyed because of raw sewage that is coming from Ariel settlement. Ariel is a massive settlement, with a population of approximately 18,000 people. Clearly they have the technical knowledge and financial ability to resolve this. What the Settlers lack is the will.Raw sewage, dumping rubbish next to Palestinian villages, releasing wild boar, not giving building permits... all these are tactics to bring about a "voluntary" expulsion of Palestinians from their land.