Farmers from Jayyus, Falamia and Kafr Jamal unite against the strangulation of Qalqiliya
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Farmers from Jayyus, Falamia and Kafr Jamal unite against the strangulation of Qalqiliya

***image2***Farmers from Jayyus, Falamia and Kafr Jamal staged a rally yesterday at Falamia gate in the Apartheid Wall in protest at the attacks that are devastating agriculture in the area.

Falamia gate is the one of the few remaining entrances by which Palestinian villagers from the area can access their land. However, farmers and workers are increasingly refused entry through the gate as the Occupation reduces the number of permits issued. In some villages, farming is no longer practical as there are not enough people with permits to tend the land or bring in the harvest.

Permits are often declined using the convenient catch-all excuse of unspecified “security reasons”, making no exemption for women, children and the elderly. Even farmers who are able to produce all the appropriate documentation, and who have previously received permits, are denied permission for permit renewal.

In addition to the permit restrictions, farmers are subjected to a range of measures, including prolonged and humiliating body-searches and identity checks and severe limitations placed on the times when they are allowed access to their land, which makes farming extremely difficult.

At Sunday’s rally, speakers addressing condemned the Occupation’s efforts to alienate farmers from their lands, and argued that the wall the latest step in the colonization project which began with the creation of the Israeli state in 1948. They also said these gates, which were erected under the pretext of facilitating farmers access to their land; are part of a plan to evict the farmers.

The farmers warn that if Occupation continues to refuse to issue sufficient numbers of permits, the result will be catastrophe for Palestinian farmers as the land falls into disrepair. Farmers also suggest that this has been the Israeli plan from the beginning, and that in a few years the Occupation will assimilate the neglected farmland as state land, under laws dating back to the Ottoman period giving the state power to seize land left untended for three years.

For more CLICK HERE to see the committees press release.