Landlessness in Qaffin
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Landlessness in Qaffin

Qaffin is located 25 km to the north of Tulkarem city. Before 1948 the total area of the village was 30,000 dunums. During the 1948 Occupation the village lost 20,000 dunums of its lands. Last Year, the village lost 6500 dunums more of the remaining 10,000 dunums with the construction of The Apartheid Wall. Moreover, another 500 dunums of the village’s lands were recently lost inside a fence built around Harmish settlement. Occupation forces have always claimed that the villagers are able to reach their isolated lands, whether behind the Wall or inside the settlements fence, however, the people report that they’ve been prohibited several times from reaching their lands, particularly within the settlement fence. As for the 6500 dunums separated from the village by the Wall, most of the people in the village have never able to reach these lands. In the last olive season only 400 farmers out of 2000 were able to get permits to reach their lands, however, Occupation forces allowed no farm vehicles through, and without agricultural road people were forced to walk long distances through the mountains. The only gate which was regularly open in the 10km long Wall was declared for “Military Use” only and farmers were not allowed to use it for some time after the olive season started. In all the above restrictions resulted in a loss of 80% of Qaffin’s usual olive harvest.

The dismantling of parts of the Wall to the east of Baqa Sharqiya last February returned 15% of the village’s isolated lands; however, the people are still not able to reach the remaining 85% of their isolated lands. The lands are in constant threat of being ruined by neglect, and now that the rainy season is over, drought. Moreover, unemployment in the village has risen to 95%, with farmers unable to reach their lands and laborers, who have commercial permits, not able to reach their work inside the green line. Since the Wall’s completion to the west of Baqa Sharqiya, workers now have to go to Taiba- a Palestinian village occupied in 1948, with total transportation costs for the day usually costing than the daily wage, forcing many workers to abandon their jobs.

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