In areas where the first phase of the Apartheid Wall was “completed”, the next steps are now clear: continue what the Wall started with more land destruction, more house demolitions and more policies to prevent people from reaching their lands, including those left on the eastern side of the Wall.
Last October, to prevent people from reaching their lands isolated behind the Wall, Occupation Forces created the permit system, which – after declaring that these lands are closed military areas â imposes a policy whereby non-Israelis are not allowed to enter the lands without permits. This system seriously limits the number of farmers able to reach their lands (and even those with permits do not have consistent access) and has resulted in the neglect of many lands behind the Wall, primarily in Jenin and Tulkarem.
***image2***At the same time, other policies are also being used to prevent people from reaching their lands behind the Wall, such as releasing settlers or wild boars to destroy the lands, trees, crops, and water pipes. Lately, military training has been used as another way to limit farmers’ access to their lands, such as when Occupation Forces held a military “show” in the isolated lands of Jayyus village for more than 10 days. However, still, the main way that Occupation Forces will finalize the destruction and annexation of isolated lands will be through settlement expansion.
As for the lands left east of the Wall, Occupation Forces are now using what is called the Wall’s “buffer zone” to prevent people from reaching their lands. The justification this time is “the security of the Wall itself.” In Jenin, Occupation Forces are poisoning the agricultural lands east to the Wall, while no permits were given to the people to reach their lands behind the Wall. At the same time, in Jenin and Tulkarem, more lands are being confiscated â east of the Wall- to build settler industrial areas or for opening new settler road, such as in Tura Sharqiya and the neighboring villages in west Jenin; also like in Jbara, Irtah and Faro’n in Tulkarem.
Destroying or confiscating lands in villages where the Wall has already brought devastation is only one of the strategies being used by Occupation Forces to achieve their goal of expelling Palestinians from their land. To speed up the process, other policies, such as the demotion of houses and remaining economic centers are also being employed.
In Tura Gharbiya, Occupation Forces gave demolition orders to two houses that are some 200 meters away from the Apartheid Wall and to two poultry farms that are 50 meters away from it. The targeted houses have been there for more than 20 years, and are close enough to the rest of the houses in the village, but they are also the closest to the Wall and now Occupation Forces have decided to demolish them.
Since the Wall was “completed” in the area, the people in Tura have not been allowed to reach their isolated lands. These lands are mainly planted with olive trees and some fields that were planted with winter crops and tobacco.
In Azzun Atma, which is in south Qalqiliya but is isolated from the rest of the district by the Wall, Occupation Forces gave demolition orders to two houses, a water cistern and a green house. Since the Wall was started in the village more than a year and a half ago, there have been demolition orders for 23 houses and last week the recent two houses were added to the list. With such a large number of the villages’ houses threatened with demolition, in addition to the other oppressive policies of the Occupation, it is clear that the intention is to expel the people from their village.
Occupation Forces also destroyed 150 meters of water lines used to irrigate the isolated lands to the north of Qalqiliya city, leaving the lands that these pipes were used to irrigate with no irrigation.