The village Al Aqaba, in the Tubas district, is one of the first communities in the Jordan Valley which will be devastated by the Apartheid Wall; the village of some 250 people has received Israeli military orders for the demolition of 12 buildings and homes including the mosque and kindergarten. These demolition orders come at the same time as destruction and building of the Apartheid Wall begins in the eastern West Bank, threatening to expel Al Aqabaâs residents through their complete isolation from the rest of the West Bank and all basic services. Already, people are living in make-shift homes, and many in tents, which are barely sufficient to endure the coming winter.
***image4***When the Apartheid Wall comes down the Jordan Valley, it will separate Al Aqaba from the village Tayasir and Tubas city, communities which the village depends on for infrastructure, water, food, and education and health services. The Occupation Military has already begun expulsion measures against the village by prohibiting all forms of building in the village. The people in Al Aqaba have suffered continuous, extreme harassment from Israeli soldiers as several months ago an Israeli military camp was erected on the villageâs lands and soldiers beleaguered the people including women and children and repeatedly invaded their houses during the night.
âThe village of Al Aqaba has been suffering the deprivation of basic services since the 1967 Warâ, says Mr. Sadeq from the village council, âthe Occupation Forces have declared the village as a closed military area since that day; the village was marginalized and forgotten between the three Israeli military camps established on the lands of the village. More than fifty people in the village were wounded because of the maneuvers, trainings, and from the left land mines and other military weapons in the village land. This is in addition to the destruction of lands and water and phone networks. The Occupation Forces also closed the only road to and from the village barring many students from reaching their schools in Tayasir and Tubas.â
After much lobbying and national and international advocacy the village, through the Israeli/Occupation court system, had an court order passed that called for the removal of the military camps from the village and end to the training. The order was implemented in June 2003. However, extreme measures to deprive the village residents of life have been sustained. The Occupation Military consistently demolishes sheds which the people have built as an alternative to ordinary houses they were prohibited to build. Moreover, the Israeli Military has barred the village from having services including electricity, water or communications; there is not even a village store where they can buy food and other necessities. Resultantly, many residents have been forced to leave Al Aqaba in search of a means to sustain themselves, as many have moved to Tayasir.
Prior to increased Israeli measures against the village there were almost 1,000 people living in Al Aqaba; now there are some 250. Those remaining have made great efforts to resist the Occupation policies and stay in their village by building a small school and clinic. When the Wall is built, doctors and teachers who are all from outside the village will be blocked from Al Aqaba. Furthermore, with the village still lacking services and the coming isolation from the Apartheid Wall, the ability to subsist in Al Aqaba becomes more and more remote.
As previously the village residents have mobilized national and international support against the Israeli orders and threats of expulsion, the residents of Al Aqaba have been sending out appeals for immediate increased support against the coming of the Apartheid Wall through their village. They appeal for support in resisting the Occupation and in defending their lands and livelihoods.