Palestinian activists knock a hole in separation barrier

Palestinian activists knock a hole in separation barrier
Palestinian activists take symbolic action against the barrier while the Israeli authorities proceed with plans to illegally confiscate more land near Ramallah.
3 min read
Israel contintues to confiscate land for expanding settlements [Getty]

A group of Palestinian activists knocked a hole in the separation wall in the town of Bir Nabala northwest of occupied Jerusalem over the weekend as occupation authorities renewed the notice to confiscate 12852 dunams (about 12.85 square kilometres) of land in the village of Beit Iksa, near the Wall.

“The activist used simple tools like hammers and chisels to drill the hole, then they raised Palestinian flags and left”, sources told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Activists occasionally drill holes in the wall as a form of popular resistance to express their opposition to the combination of concrete walls and barbed wire fences that Israel has erected up and down occupied terriroty.

Meanwhile, Israeli army soldiers used stun grenades and tear gas on dozens of Palestinian students and citizens in the village of Aboud west of Ramallah.

According to Abada al-Barghouthi, a resident of Aboud, the clashes erupted after the villagers objected to the army blocking the village’s main entrance with concrete blocks and piles of sand to control access to the village. The army claims that Palestinians shot at an Israeli patrol passing near the village and this prompted them to block its main entrance.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers told Mohamed al-Azza, a young man from the al-Azza refugee camp north of Bethlehem to contact Israeli security in the Gush Etzion settlement, south of Bethlehem, after his house was demolished early Saturday morning.

The army handed out land confiscation notices to the people of the village of Beit Iksa near the separation barrier as they passed through the Israeli army barrier at the entrance of the village. The confiscation notices were signed by IDF General Nitzan Alon. “The decision was made as part of necessary Israeli security measures in the village, which is adjacent to the Green Line”, the notice stated.

The confiscated lands are located within basins 7 and 8, which include the areas of Bar Badou, Hawd al-Khatib and Haraeq al-Arab.

The head of Beit Iksa’s village council, Saada al-Khatib, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the decision to take the land, originally reached in 2012 but suspended for a while after protests, had  now been reinstalled. 

“The people of the village reject this decision”, he stressed. “I demand all rights organisations intervene and end this farce, and I call on the Palestinian Authority to do what it has to do to end what is happening to the people of the village”.

The decision was connected with settlement expansion in Jerusalem. It comes after the Israeli authorities announced the expansion of the Ramot settlement, which is built on the lands of the village. The occupation authorities had already confiscated hundreds of dunams of land to extend Israeli railways.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.