The UAWC condemns Israeli damage to one of its developmental projects
Ramallah- The Union of Agricultural Committees (UAWC) condemns the Israeli Violations on Al-Mghayer’s – a village east Ramallah – agricultural road that is one of the NPA’s funded projects. The closure of the agricultural road occurred on Monday the 2nd of September 2013 at approximately midnight.
Al-Mghayer’s agricultural community called UAWC to report the violation. Before the closure of the agricultural road, the Israeli army conducted an invasion to the whole village without any official report to the villages assembly. The bulldozers scraped the road and put four barriers from the soil scraped in order to hinder peasants movement. Here is a video of the violation that was videos by the people of Al-Mghayer: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703111773035483
The project was launched in 2012, and its total cost was 10,000$; 2000$ were from local community contributions and 8000$ were direct from the NPA. Moreover, the project rehabilitated a 1 km long agricultural road in Al-Mghayer. After the rehabilitation, the road served more than 1500 dunums of land from which 400 are planted with olive trees, the road also serves no less than 150 peasants (families).
This project was vital for the people of Al- Mghayer since the road was exposed to several settler violations from the settlement near the road, the violations included trees uprooting and burning. It is important to emphasize that Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied terri, but despite this international law Israel has established about 150 settlements (residential and others) in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; in addition to some 100 “outposts” erected by settlers without official authorization since 1967, according to OCHA. The rehabilitation of the road encouraged Palestinian peasants to plant their land and work in it despite the Israeli violations.
It is our duty, as an agricultural Palestinian organization, to stand next to the Palestinian peasants against all Israeli violations towards our land and peasants. According to OCHA’s factsheet in October 2012, in the West Bank, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers between January and mid October 2012, some 2,000 fewer than during the equivalent period in 2011.
Accordingly, the UAWC went to the violations area and talked to the people of Al-Mghayer as soon as they were reported. The UAWC, also, reported the violation to the NPA in order to discuss the action required towards ending such violations.