Israeli Military Enters Budrus
Israeli Military Enters Budrus
Report from the International Solidarity Movement By: S'ra and Erik
The Israeli military entered Budrus, a rural village 3 kilometers from the Green Line in the Ramallah district in the West Bank, at least four times yesterday. Budrus is earmarked to be encircled by the Apartheid Wall in the coming weeks. Each time one to four army vehicles were present. During the incursions the Israeli soldiers used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.
Tear gas filled many homes in the center of the village, making it very difficult to breath. Many elderly people and children were badly affected. One 75-year old woman said, "I thought I was going to die from the tear gas, it was so strong." Her 16-year old nephew was beaten by six Israeli soldiers while walking from the store to his home, just meters away. According to eyewitnesses the boy did nothing to provoke the soldiers. The military entered one Palestinian's house by breaking down the door but no one was home. One boy and one man were injured by rubber bullets. One home had a window shot out by a rubber bullet, the type filled with metal and coated with a thin layer of rubber. These types of rubber bullets are especially lethal and have caused fatalities. The hole in the window was exactly at height of a person's head when standing. No one was hit by the bullet.
Abu Ahmed, a community leader, did not know why the Israeli military entered Budrus. "Maybe they are just trying to disrupt our lives more or maybe they have something else planned that we do not know about."
The Israeli government informed Budrus last Thursday that the construction of the wall will commence any day now. Every morning everyone in the village, both Palestinians and internationals, wake up to see if trees are being cut or if the wall is being constructed. The village does not know yet exactly where the wall will be built and if it will be concrete or fence.
In the last couple of days the preparation for the wall has increased dramatically. The workers, protected by private security forces, have been digging trenches to lay electrical wires and leveling the earth where the wall will stand. Yesterday olive trees that were donated by Rabbis for Human Rights and planted in a previous demonstration were destroyed by construction equipment.
Budrus and eight neighboring villages will be completely imprisoned by the wall. Budrus will loss 1000 of its 5000 dunums of land (4 dunums equal 1 acre) due to the construction of the wall. This will include at least 3000 olive trees, much of the grazing land for the sheep and goats, and the land dedicated to the cultivation of wheat. Only one entrance gate is planned for the entire area, which will be controlled by the Israeli military. This will almost completely obstruct the Palestinians' ability to travel to other areas in the West Bank. Families will be separated even further, there will be no access to universities, jobs, and hospitals, and agricultural products will never make it to markets. The preparations for the wall have already destroyed 60 trees in Budrus, and unfortunately more will be toppled as the bulldozers continue to invade the area.
This Thursday, February 12 at noon there will be another demonstration in Budrus in the olive grove, next to the construction site of the wall. Palestinians, Israelis and internationals have participated in protests against the wall for the last two months.
This report was based on information collected from community leaders and eyewitnesses from the village.
For more information about the continuing struggle in Budrus please visit: