Ten years after the beginning of the construction of the Annexation Wall on Palestinian land, and despite the 2004 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice calling for its construction to cease and for the dismantling of the sections built on occupied territory, Palestinian communities are still being fragmented and unable to enjoy their human rights.
For the last ten years, Al-Haq’s field researchers have been documenting cases of Palestinians who have been denied access to their land, their families and their schools due to the construction of the Wall. This week was no different as shown by this incident involving farmers in the village of Ni’lin.
Muhammad Abdel Kadir ‘Amira (41 years old)
Muhammad and his family own about 30 dunums of land planted with olive trees in the south of Ni’lin, a small village to the west of Ramallah. Since 2008, however, this land has been cut off from the rest of the village by the Wall and the only way to reach this area is through a gate manned by Israeli soldiers.
Consequently, in order to access their own land, Muhammad and his family members have to apply for special permits from the Israeli Civil Administration. Muhammad and his wife have applied for permission on many occasions but they have been consistently denied under the pretext of security.
This restriction continued even when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in cooperation with the Palestinian Coordination Office, applied for special temporary permits on behalf of 83 Palestinian farmers, including Muhammad and his wife, to allow them to tend their land. The ICRC requested two-day permits valid on 30 and 31 of May – from 5 am to 7 pm. Muhammad and his wife, along with 23 other applicants, were refused the permit for alleged security reasons.
Despite this denial, at 7.30 am on 30 May, Muhammad joined the group of farmers who gathered by the gate in the Wall in order to enter their land. Muhammad was refused entry but remained close to the gate hoping to be able to persuade the soldiers to let him enter his family’s land. Two hours later he witnessed a group of approximately 30 young Israeli settlers from Hashmon’im holding batons and approaching the farmers.
The settlers verbally abused the Palestinian farmers causing much distress and increasing the risk of a clash. Muhammad reported that the settlers were still harassing the farmers when he left four hours later.
The following day Muhammad attempted once again to gain access to his family’s land but to no avail.
Annexation Wall: 10 Years Too Long: A Campaign to Dismantle the Annexation Wall
On 9 June 2012, Al-Haq is launching a month-long campaign to mark a decade of the Wall’s existence. The campaign calls for the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be dismantled in line with the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion of 2004.
Visit Al-Haq’s website at www.alhaq.org to learn more about the campaign and find out how you can take action to call for dismantling the Annexation Wall.