New path of apartheid wall gobbles up more fertile lands in Qalqilia
|Sunday, February 22,2009 04:43|
The Israeli occupation authority has started recently to put marks across the lands of the Palestinian village of Wadi Al-Rasha, south of Qalqilia city, in preparation to modify the path of the apartheid, separation wall in the area.
According to the IOA, the step comes in accordance with an order issued by the Israeli "Supreme Court" to "end the isolation of five Palestinian villages" namely: Ras Taira, Wadi Al-Rasha, Al-Dhaba"a, Arab Al-Rammadheen, and Arab Abu Fardah.
But for the Palestinians, the new path puts them before two "bitter" options, either to accept the status quo and remain isolated and cut off from the city, or to agree to the new path that would gobble at least 2500 dunums (1 dunum= 1000 sq. meter) of their agriculture lands and pastures.
According to the popular committee against the wall, the length of the new wall is three kilometers and would deny the villagers in those five Palestinian villages, especially Wadi Al-Rasha (will lose 80% of its fertile lands and pastures) and Ras Taira (would lose 60% of its lands) the main source of their income.
The committee added that the IOA plans to build a new road in place of route 55 passing in the depth of the two villages of Ras Taira and Wadi Al-Rasha, which would mean uprooting more olive trees there, in addition to destroying any hope of possible use of the villages" fertile lands located behind the wall in the future.
Moreover, the new path would pass 100-200 meters away from the villagers" homes in both villages that would automatically classify the area as "within the zone of the security of the wall", which in turn would leave the inhabitants in "permanent emergency condition" linked to Israeli security fears.
As for the two Bedouin villages, Arab Al-Rammadheen and Arab Abu Fardah, the new path would pave the way before the IOA to confiscate their land and to transfer them from it under the pretext they don’t possess titles to prove their ownership of the land.
But legal observes asserted that the Israeli step was meant to give the separation wall legitimacy in a bid to circumvent the 2004 decision of the International Court of Justice that deemed the wall illegal and ordered removing (not modifying or beautifying) it immediately.