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Marda farmers to resist destruction

June 5, 2005

Marda farmers to resist destruction; 800 trees cut in 5 days.

On Monday, June 6, at 7:00, farmers from the village of Marda will climb with international and Israeli supporters to their land that is being cleared for the construction of the "Ariel loop" of the Annexation Wall. They will sit on their land to protect it and prevent the chainsaws from reaching the trees. In the past 5 days, more than 800 trees have been cut.

The villagers have confronted the workers twice, and both times the workers left as soon as the farmers arrived on their land. Today, although the work stopped upon the arrival of about 40 villagers, a security guard shot at the ground near them and later hit one man on the arm and leg with the butt of his gun.

The same guard picked up a chainsaw and threatened to begin cutting trees himself when villagers refused to leave. Several soldiers pushed people, and threatened further violence. Finally the DCO arrived and promised no more work would happen today and the army's lawyer would meet with the village's lawyer tomorrow morning to decide how to proceed. When farmers left their land, the army broke its promise, as workers came back and continued to cut trees for several hours with the protection of at least 20 soldiers.

Farmers hope to arrive on their land before the workers tomorrow, to prevent the work from beginning at all.

ENDS

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