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International Womens Peace Service

International Womens Peace Service

The village of Budrus, West Ramallah, Occupied Palestine was told today by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) that the Apartheid Wall's bulldozers will start destroying more land from tomorrow onwards. About 600 villagers, along with dozens of Israeli and international activists, will take to the land as soon as the bulldozers are sighted and use their bodies to prevent the Apartheid Wall from destroying more Budrus land. It is expected that the IOF will escalate the massive amounts of force they have used in the past month.

There will also be a massive demonstration against the wall on Friday at 12:30pm on the Budrus land.

The tiny village has attracted international attention for its courageous attempts to use non-violent direct action to stop the Apartheid Wall, which will confiscate 90% of the village land. Young girls and old women alike have thrown themselves in front of bulldozers and have managed to delay the building of the Apartheid Wall for more than four months.

Their peaceful resistance has cost them dearly - 10 village activists are in jail and over 40 have been injured by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Budrus activist Na'eem Morar, who was kidnapped from his bed at 2am three weeks ago, was summarily moved to the Ketziot prison in the Negev Desert just days ago. His appeal against his unjust sentence of four months administrative detention will be heard on February 18th 2004.

The villagers say they are resisting the Apartheid Wall because they don't want to live in a ghetto, or to become additional Palestinian refugees. Budrus village has been greatly spurred to resist after seeing the impact of the Wall in nearby villages, like Mas'ha. In Mas'ha village, the Amer family has been cut off from the rest of the village and is completely surrounded by the wall and the fence. This punishment was exacted upon the Amer family after they refused to sell their house, which fell in the path of the Wall, to the Israeli regime. The house has become known internationally as the "one family bantustan". This week, Hani Amer was fired from his job because the soldiers do not allow him through the gates at regular times. The family was also told that if any soldier sees anybody visiting them, their house will be demolished. Filmmakers from all over the world have had to

The demonstrations against the wall in Budrus have lately taken the form of replanting the small piece of land that has been bulldozed for the wall. Other villages in the area have decided to take similar action against the land theft of the Israeli Occupation Forces. Today, international and Israeli activists normally join the Budrus people in their efforts to stop the wall, as well as Rabbis for Human Rights, replanted dozens of olive trees in the nearby village of Deir Ballut. Two weeks ago, 30 soldiers, policemen and workers with three jeeps and two vans arrived at two Deir Ballut fields. In a well organised mafia-style operation, they stole 50 peach trees, 200 vine saplings, 50 three year old olive trees, 200 three year old fig trees, a gate and 150 metal poles. Rabbi for Human Rights leader Arik Asherman said today "we don't know if the trees will stay...

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