Occupation forces today headed to the villages of Zawiya, Rafat, and Dier Ballut west of Salfit in order to mark for the Wall’s path around these villages. Last Thursday Occupation forces delivered confiscation orders for 316.9 dunums of village lands, including maps showing the path of the intended Wall. The soldiers had informed the villagers that they will meet with them publicly on Sunday to place the markers for the Wall’s path; however, Israeli engineers came in the night and marked the path without the people’s knowledge.
At 10:00 am this morning the people in the village of Deir Ballut gathered near a school threatened with destruction where Wall will pass. As soon as the Occupation forces arrived the villagers began a vocal demonstration against the Apartheid Wall, and began throwing stones at the military jeeps. Men, women, and children carry stones ran after the soldiers who immediately retreated towards Rafat and Zawiya, closing the Deir Ballut checkpoint, and all other access points leading to or from the village ensuring the villagers wouldn’t be able to follow.
***image3***The wall confiscates hundreds of dunums of Deir Ballut’s lands while isolating 80% of the villageâs agricultural lands. The total area of the village is some 100,000 dunums, and if the Wall is completed only 750 dunums will be left for the village, in addition to 2750 dunums that are the area of “Marj Deir Ballut” which is located in the eastern side of the village. This eastern part of the village is threatened with settlement expansion, which are built on the village lands and expanding further. The settlements of Badue’l and Ale Zahav plan on building an additional 550 housing units on the village’s lands.
Moreover, 22 houses are isolated from the rest of the village behind a military check point placed at the entrance to Deir Ballut. No one except for the residents of these houses are allowed access to the area, and villagers are routinely submitted to humiliating treatment when attempting to access either their homes, their lands, or the rest of the village.
In Zawiya the Wall parallels the Israeli by-pass road from the south east, which surrounds the residential area of the village, and then ends in the Jabal al Kurum area in the south west. The wall will isolate some 18,000 dunums of the village’s lands.