Farmers protest permits and gates
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Farmers protest permits and gates

Farmers protested the permit and gate system which locks them out of their lands in the village of Beit Surik. Farmers from the surrounding villages marched to the gates, forcing them open before Occupation forces arrived.

On Sunday morning, farmers from the villages of Biddu, Beit Surik, Qatana, Beit ‘Anan gathered at the gate which cuts off their land. Farmers broke through two sets of gates before the military arrived on jeeps and horseback and pushed them back.

In the isolated area, more than 23 farmers and their families own lands, which is planted with olive trees, grapes, figs and almonds. Occupation forces restricted access last December, however, and farmers have not been able to enter their lands since. They have already missed their summer crop, and with the upcoming olive harvest, stand to lose considerably more.

Previously, farmers were able to access their land without permits. Now, it appears that Occupation administration is attempting to force them to take permits and thus implicitly accepting Israeli control over their land. People so far have refused.

A considerable amount of land is isolated in this area. 8,935 dunums have been affected, with 2,500 from Beit Surik, 700 from Qatana, 435 from Beit ‘Anan, 1,500 from Biddu, 1,800 from Beit Duqqu and 2,000 from Beit Ijza.