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Wall Construction Blocked by Peace Camp

Wall Construction Blocked by Peace Camp

At twelve noon yesterday activists from Israeli and International peace groups united with the Palestinians of the town of Mas’ha to block the construction of an Israeli wall through the town’s farmlands.

The Israeli government justifies the building of the wall as a means of securing its people from the threat of Palestinian terrorism. If this were the case the logical place to erect it would be along the Green Line separating Israel from the Occupied West Bank. Instead the wall is being built well inside the West Bank in what is clearly an attempt to grab as much Palestinian land as possible for Jewish settlements.

“Walls are not the way to bring peace,” said Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist. “In this camp we will show that Israelis, Palestinians and people from many countries can live and work together when we work for justice.”

The Palestinians, Israelis and international activists marched peacefully through the village of Mas’ha to its surrounding fields, where they erected tents to block the construction of the wall. Were the wall to proceed as planned, it would cut off Mas’ha’s access to 97% of its farmland, greenhouses and olive groves, which provide the livelihood of its 2,000 inhabitants.

Mas’ha lies seven kilometers to the east of the Green Line separating Israel from the Occupied West Bank.

The Peace Camp is being supported by the following organizations:
1. The Municipality of Bidya,
2. The Mas’ha Village Council,
3. The Land Defence Committee,
4. The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee,
5. The International Women’s Protection Service (IWPS),
6. The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and
7. The Alternative Information Centre.

The first phase of the wall’s construction took 50% of the farmland and 30% of the water supply from Qalqilya and its surrounding villages. The next phase of its construction, if it is allowed to proceed, is anticipated to alienate 4.500 acres of land from the villages of Sannirya, Azun Atme, Beit Amin, Mas’ha and Bidya alone.

For further information on the Peace Camp contact:
1. The Alternative Information Centre on +972 54 700 640
2. The ISM Media Office on +972 2 277 4602 or +972 67 862 439
3. The IWPS on +972 52 598 264 or +972 67 387 806

Update

This morning the agents of the private security company responsible for building the wall moved into the area of the peace camp and insisted that the activists dismantle the peace camp and leave the area.

The reason given for the expulsion was that they had no right to be there because the land was now part of Israel.

They have been followed by units of the Israeli Army and the border police are said to be on their way.

The activists are refusing to leave the area and there is currently a standoff.

There are currently 12 activists from the ISM and IWPS (from Italy, the US, the UK, Germany, Sweden, France,

ENDS

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