The villagers of Al-Walaja and activists gather to stop bulldozing of agricultural land
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The villagers of Al-Walaja and activists gather to stop bulldozing of agricultural land

On the morning of June 9th, 2010, Israeli Occupation forces arrested Palestinian and international activists in Al-Walaja, a village in the north west of Bethlehem district, after the villagers and their supporters tried to stop the occupation bulldozers from destroying more agricultural land in the village’s region of Al-Jozeh.

The people of the village gathered in agricultural fields that Occupation forces had already started bulldozing the day before. Over a hundred olive, apple, and almonds trees had already been destroyed

In their effort to prevent even more destruction of the village’s land, villagers and activists arrived at the threatened pocket of land before 6:30 in the morning, the time occupation forces usually begin their demolition of Palestinian land. The villagers sat in front of the bulldozers to try to stop the devastation but the Israeli forces attacked the gathering, beat up some of the villagers, and arrested Palestinian activist Mazin Qumsiah and several international supporters. The occupation forces then took the arrested individuals to the military check post 300 near Bethlehem. News about those arrested is still unavailable.

It is said that the Walaja lands that are being bulldozed belong to the families of Barghout and Hajajleh. However, occupation forces will continue to demolish these lands at the extreme detriment of the people of the village of Walaja.

The ruthless demolition of Palestinian lands is one of the greatest horrors of Israeli Occupation since many Palestinians financially depend on the land for subsistence and the revenues gained from selling agricultural output.