Visiting Mas'ha - letter from Sveva (European Jews for Just Peace)
- From Sveva, a member of European jews for Just Peace and Italian Network of
jews Against the Occupation, who is visiting Jerusalem:
the demonstration was fine as you can see from gila's
report. tirza brought a sign saying "europan jews for
a just peace" which we held and a lot of pictures of
us were taken. unfortunately not many people showed
after the demo i went with doroth naor from new
profile to visit the camp in mas'ha, were local people
with the help of ism and iwps and people from the
israeli peace camp organized a presence.
it is incredible. people of mas'ha are loosing 97% of
their land with olive trees due to the building of the
separation fence. one man who owned 600 olive trees is
left with one!
mas'ha is close to the settlement elquana and used to
be a flourishing place with a market where a lot of
israelis went to buy furniture. the street is closed
with rubble. a villager drove us through mas'ha to the
next pile of rubble and from there we crossed the area
on which the fence is being built. this is how the
construction looks for now, while you can still cross
it because it is not operative yet: hundreds of trees
have been taken down to flatten an about 50 meter wide
area. first you meet a pile of rolls of barbed wire,
then you have to cross a ditch and then there is a
small concrete wall which will support the electrified
fence. after that there is an are where the patrol
road will be and some guard posts. from where the camp
is, you can see how crazy the track is, merely
designed to steel land and water and to make life
impossible to the people. the villagers don't have
much hope to prevent the wall/fence from passing
there, what they now hope to achieve, is a passage to
have access to their olive tress.
the wall/fence is no longer what it seemed to be, it
is taking much more land and is being built also on
the eastern side and according to a report published
in yedioth aharonot last week, will end in two
enclaves, one in the north and one in the south. e.g.
hebron is completely outside.
then we saw the wall which is being built around
qualqilya, 8 meters high, on three sides. what is
important to know is that all the surrounding villages
has basic services (schools, hospitals, work places)
in qualqilya and the access is now impossible unless
they travel all around wasting a lot of time and still
are not sure they reach what they need.
it is pure harassement, designed to make life
impossible and the land grab is far more extensive
than it seemed. the road map is not even a small path,
if you look at reality on the ground. the hyporcrisy
as to the boycott, i would like to tell you of a small
episode. thurday evening i went to a small grocery
store in baqa in jerusalem and asked for some parsley.
the lady in the shop took it out of the fridge, looked
at me and said: "it is from gush katif, do you want
it?" i said "that is a settlement, no thanks, i don't
want it". she just put it back in the fridge and that
was it. i didn't even need to ask, she just guessed
that i was not the kind of person who would buy stuff
from settlements and gave me advice. just wanted you
people to know ...
the next days i will spend more time in the occupied
territories, starting from tomorrow when i have to
meet some friends in ramallah.