Mevasseret Zion & Beit Suriq: Kites Event
Mevasseret Zion & Beit Suriq: Good Kites Make Good Neighbors
We in Mevasseret Zion are having a joint kite event tomorrow afternoon - June 24 - at 16:30, in support of Beit Suriq and the other Arab villages that petitioned the High Court of Justice to change the route of the security fence. As originally planned, the fence would separate the village houses from their village terraces and fields.
Here follows a press release
Good Kites Make Good Neighbors Beit Suriq and Mevasseret Tzion On Thursday, June 24, 2004, at 16:30, kites will fly at Mevasseret Tzion and Beit Suriq as an act of solidarity and a sign of the neighborly relationship between the two communities. During the event, children and adults of both communities will make and fly kites, residents of Mevasseret beside Mevasseret's water tower and residents of Beit Suriq on an adjacent hill.
The activity joins a series of events that have taken place since residents of Mevasseret discovered that the proposed route of the security fence passes close to the houses of Beit Suriq, preventing the villagers from reaching their fields and orchards. The fields and orchards are an important, and in some cases only, source of income for the families of Beit Suriq.
In February 2004, because of the expected impact on their lives, Beit Suriq, Katana, Bidu, Beit Sira, Al-Qubeiba and six other villages included in an enclave to be created by the fence petitioned the High Court of Justice to change the route.
Mevasseret residents feared that a fence on this route would create desperation and anger and that, instead of promoting peace, would upset the relative quiet that has existed between the two communities for some 37 years. Therefore, they asked the court to join the petition of the Arab villages.
During the court deliberations, retired high-ranking military and police personnel testified. They claimed that the route of the fence, in addition to being extremely inconsiderate, would not even provide the sought-for security. They suggested an alternate route that would provide security to Israeli citizens while interfering as little as possible in the lives and income of the villagers. Deliberations ended in May but the court has not yet given its decision.
Residents of the area from both sides have held a number of events to generate support for changing the route. There have been gatherings of Mevasseret and Beit Suriq residents and tours to the proposed route. A Beit Suriq/Mevasseret women's group has been formed. Some two weeks ago, a visit was made to the Al-Sheik family whose house is on the proposed route and who has been served a demolition order. The kite event is one of several planned future events.
All are invited.