November 21, 2015 | Meta Peace Team, Phoenix Jones | Occupied Huwwara
On a daily bases, Human Rights / Occupation Laws are being broken, by the Occupying Israeli government. One of which is the function of farmers requiring a permit to tend and harvest from their orchards. A second are settlements erected on Palestinian land.
Act 46: Family and rights, the lives of persons and private property, as well as religious conventions and practice must be respected. Private property cannot be confiscated.
Act 49: The Occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
On Wednesday and Thursday last week, Scott, Bud and myself accompanied a Palestinian farmer to his olive orchard in Occupied Huwwara, near the Huwwara checkpoint.
checkpoints are composed of two elements - an infrastructure which impedes vehicular and pedestrian traffic and permanent presence of Israeli security personnel (e.g. the IDF, the border police, the civil police, a private security company). Security personnel usually check the documentation of persons crossing the checkpoint and conduct searches on their vehicles and their belongings. (United Nations definition)
Below the Brakha- Samiratian Settlement (Israeli settlements are Israeli civilian communities built on lands occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.)
On Wednesday, while harvesting a military van parked and the soldiers called the farmer that owns the land down. They spoke to one another. The farmer returned from the conversation with the solider. We then, all notice soldiers standing above us on a hill. The Farmer is called back down by the soldiers to talk. This time a Jewish - Israeli woman went down with him to try to talk with the soldiers. As they spoke, we all exchanged glances, aware of the soldiers still standing above us. As the farmer made his way back up, with the jewish - Israeli woman behind him and the Israeli military behind her. We were all there standing between the olive trees. I then came to the understood that the military was saying we had to go, more specifically the farmer had to vacate his land. How is it that this farmer could be forced off of his own land. Israel has made it an illegal act to harvest, prune trees or tend to your land without a permit. The farmers permit was for Thursday, not Wednesday.
We returned to the farm on thursday, not long after starting to harvest an Israeli truck pulled up, he was speaking to an Israeli settler. myself along with Bud began taking pictures. The Israeli soldier called us all down. With broken english and signals he told those that have reached the gate between them, no pictures. The Israeli settler is there with the soldiers, telling Bud that he cannot take pictures and he must erase the pictures he took. I never completed the walk down to the fence. We all made our way back up to the orchard. soon after we resumed working, we saw soldiers above us, closer than the previous day. we harvested the whole day with exception to a coffee break and lunch. As the day began to wind down (because the permit was for morning to 4pm) the soldiers became more visually closer. About 2 hours before the permit expired, the soldiers yelled down from their hilltop in hebrew, I am sure rushing us along. Maybe an hour before the permit expired the soldiers yelled down to us, once again. The farmer asked what time is it, when we answered his hands moved a little faster. The farmers are required to be completely off of the land when the permit expires. with some minutes to spare the farmers had packed up their supplies and olives and we were headed down the hill.
This is not an isolated incident, nor is it close to being the most overt. This is what Israel has created, illegally. All over Palestine laws are being broken by the Israeli government and the human rights of Palestinians are being ignored. It is the job of the outside nations to hold Israel accountable for their crimes.
Our liberation is bound together, and your solidarity is mandatory!
anyone wishing to host a presentation on Meta Peace Team members experience in the West Bank, please contact www.metapeaceteam.org.