The people in the village of Falamya are appealing for international organizations to intervene immediately so farmers can access their isolated land behind the Apartheid Wall, where nearly 6,000 citrus and fruit trees are perishing. The Wall has brought massive devastation to the some 600 residents in Falamya, which is northeast of Qalqiliya. The Wall was constructed on 130 dunums* of Falamyaâs land and cuts through the middle of groves, separating the village from 1,600 dunums of its agricultural land and one well; the villageâs remaining three wells are inaccessible in the Wallâs so-called âbuffer zoneâ. All of this renders farmers unable to irrigate their trees and tend to their land.
***image3*** Farmers in Falamya are being deprived of their land by the Wall, which has also caused destruction to the majority of the villageâs irrigation networks and agricultural roads. This is having a tremendous affect on the village where nearly 85% of the residents are dependant upon agriculture for sustenance and income and is leading to an environmental disaster.
The 6,000 citrus and fruit trees are dying while their owners are not able to rescue them. This disaster is in addition to severe losses that the village experienced during the guava harvest, which began in the middle of September and is soon ending; farmers were unable to gather the fruits from isolated areas behind the Wall. The guava fruits have now fallen from the trees and lie rotting on the ground bringing massive economic losses to the village. It seems the olive harvest will face the same fate as the Israeli military continuously prohibits farmers from reaching their lands.
***image2***Falamya has been in a similar situation as Jayyus regarding the Wallâs âaccess gatesâ which have been closed for nearly two weeks. Even when the gates were âopenâ it was for limited and inconsistent times and the Israeli military barred vehicles from passingâmeaning that farmers could not transport agricultural equipment to their land or carry large quantities of their crops back.
On October 8th, the Jayyus municipality sent in out an appeal for support in accessing their lands and the following day demonstrated at the Wallâs sealed gates. After the Israeli military attacked demonstrators with tear gas and firing rounds of live bullets, a solider declared âThese gates will remain locked until next week, next month, next year, forever.â
* 1 dumum = 1,000 square meters = Â¼ acre
Read the appeal from Jayyus on October 8th 2003