Sunday, 28 September 2014

Israeli eviction notices of further 400 hectares in Wadi Fukin

Residents of the Wadi Fukin village received eviction notices as Israel plans on further seizing 400 hectares of land.

- Israel recently announced its decision to seize nearly 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank, a move anti-settlement activists termed the largest land grab in 30 years.

At the time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to cancel the appropriation. "This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza," presidential spokesman Abu Rdainah said.

In a statement published on its website, Peace Now also condemned the land confiscation and said that it would further damage the chance of achieving a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a two-state solution.

The Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin sits just west of Bethlehem along the Green Line, and is surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements that are constantly growing. more

Israel reopens Gaza crossing after 3-day closure

Israeli authorities on Sunday morning opened the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in the southeastern Gaza Strip after it was closed shut for three days over the Jewish New Year holiday.

A spokesperson for the Gaza crossings authority said in a statement that Israel notified the Palestinian side that 380 truckloads of goods would be allowed into the coastal enclave through the Kerem Shalom (Kerem Abu Salem) crossing.

The shipments include 32 truckloads of humanitarian aid, 24 truckloads of animal feed, 45 truckloads of goods for Gaza's agricultural sector, one truckload of equipment for Gaza's power authority, and two truckloads for water authorities.

The statement also said that 65 truckloads of gravel and 13 truckloads of cement would be allowed in for projects sponsored by the UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA. more

Video: Israeli forces use violence against unarmed demonstrators in Wadi Foukeen

From the International Solidarity Movement - Wadi Foukeen is a Palestinian village just west of Bethlehem with a population of approximately 1,250 people. A weekly Friday demonstration has been organized by the village community against the Israeli occupation and in response to the recent land grab of 4,000 dunams (nearly 1,000 acres) by the Israeli government.

Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to the village of Wadi Foukeen, which has already lost much of its land and natural resources to the constantly growing illegal Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit, Hadar Beitar, and Tsur Hadassah that surround it on three sides.

Today’s demonstration began after midday prayers with a peaceful march of about 60 Palestinians, Israelis, and International protesters and media members. The protestors marched from the village mosque to the boundary of the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit. While many of the demonstrators chanted protest songs, waved Palestinian flags and held up signs, another group of protesters dug holes into the ground to plant olive tree saplings while soldiers forcefully tried to prevent them from doing so.

The Israeli forces began to get very aggressive as they shouted at the protestors to leave declaring the area a closed military zone and threatening to use violence against the unarmed protestors if they did not comply. They began to push several Palestinian men holding signs. Without warning, the Israeli forces threw 4 stun grenades directly into the crowd followed by another 4 stun grenades. After the crowd dispersed, the Israeli forces shot several rounds of tear gas at the demonstrators. One man was hit directly in the back by a tear gas canister. Two protestors suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation and needed medical attention. more