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Thread: Divide And Destroy.

  1. #1
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    Divide and destroy

    Israel's separation wall is creating a new kind of humanitarian crisis for the Palestinians who live in its shadow. Christian Aid's Alex Klaushofer witnesses the devastation of communities

    Thursday November 13, 2003

    Over the past few months, the barrier that Israel is building to cut itself off from the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank has come to symbolise the divide between the two peoples at the heart of the Middle East crisis.

    Cutting into Palestinian lands by up to six kilometres, the barrier takes different forms along its length - here an imposing concrete construction, there a steel fence and a tangle of barbed wire.

    But whatever the barrier's form, its impact on the communities it dominates is devastating. In the farming villages of the northern West Bank, what was once a self-sufficient way of life is dying out because farmers cannot access their land.

    The fertile valley that supported most of Jayyous's 3,500 people with yields from olive groves and citrus orchards is now locked behind the barrier, accessible to some only through gates administered by the Israeli army.

    A few farmers are just managing to cling onto their land, forced to accept the permit system imposed by the Israeli authorities to get through the gate. Yet even with permits they must queue for the gate openings at the beginning and end of each day.

    Sometimes the soldiers refuse to open the gate at all. In September it was closed for 20 days during the Israeli holiday season. At other times the soldiers just do not allow farmers through.

    To combat this problem, a new population of farmer-campers has sprung up behind the gate, living away from their families in sheds and tents rather than risk being refused access to their land by the soldiers. They risk arrest as they are not meant to stay on their land overnight.

    They are the lucky ones. Jayyous resident Faheema Saleem has 11 children and a disabled husband. Her family is now one of the poorest in the village because most of their land was confiscated and destroyed by Israeli construction workers who cleared it to make way for the barrier.

    "All our land is behind the wall," she says. "We had two greenhouses, two acres of irrigated land, a big orchard of olives and open grazing land of up to 25 acres. Now we have this" - she gestures to a small garden plot in front of her house - "and 13 olive trees."

    To keep the family afloat, Faheema receives food parcels of basics such as lentils and flour as part of a new programme run by the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, an organisation supported by Christian Aid.

    "We have a new humanitarian problem in the village and we now have a large number of families who are totally dependent," says Marian Shamasanah, the food programme co-ordinator and assistant head of the Jayyous women's club.

    "I have been 14 years in this club. We never thought about humanitarian support until this year. In normal times it's not socially accepted to take food. Normally, we hold classes in first aid, family planning and handicrafts, but we are not involved in a humanitarian programme like this."

    A few miles over the hills, the people of Jbarra are also turning to humanitarian aid as a direct result of the barrier. Most of the greenhouses in this farming hamlet of 350 people lie empty and its one road is lined with dying fruit trees as landowners outside the gate have been denied access to water their crops.

    But Jbarra's odd status as one of 15 villages caught between the barrier and the Green Line that separates Israel from the West Bank has created further deprivations. In October the Israeli authorities declared the area a closed military zone and tried to issue its inhabitants with permits to access their land on the other side of the wall. Jbarra residents rejected the permits. For them it was a matter of principle. In response the Israeli army has refused to let them leave their village.

    As a result, people have been unable to get to their jobs and businesses in the neighbouring towns and villages, or to the markets where they sell their produce.

    Access to healthcare is also a problem. Ennas Awad tried to take her month-old baby to the doctor in Tulkarem but was denied access. "I told the soldiers the baby was ill, but they didn't believe me," she says. "They said: 'Everyone who wants to go to Tulkarem says their son or daughter is ill. But we will not allow you to pass. You are a liar.'"

    Temporary relief has come in the form of a mobile clinic run by the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees - another local charity supported by Christian Aid. The clinic was hastily assembled in someone's house and announced over the mosque Tannoy by the sheik. But Azam Mahmoud, one of the doctors in the clinic, is clear about the limitations of this one-off healthcare solution. "To resolve the problem in Jbarra, you must start a permanent clinic with doctors and medicines in the village," he said.

    Malnutrition is already affecting villagers' health, he says. "I saw a pregnant woman who has very rough skin. It is a deficiency of vitamin A. I told her to eat egg and milk. She said: 'In Jbarra there is no egg, no milk.' It is difficult to believe this is the situation of a village in the 21st century."

    The new dependency emerging in the communities destroyed by the barrier is yet another example of how the poverty afflicting the Palestinians is a human creation. Here aid is not just part of the solution, it's a symptom of the underlying problem.

    As William Bell, Christian Aid's advocacy officer for Israel and the Palestinians told the parliamentary international development committee: "This is a political problem created by the occupation of the Palestinian territories. A political solution is needed to tackle this ongoing humanitarian crisis."

    Alex Klaushofer is the Middle East communications manager at Christian Aid.

    Source



  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    And to think we spent all those years trying to get rid of one....


    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    I cannot find any justification for placing a wall between a man and his land. If you do so for logistic reasons, you must still make a full effort to make sure that those entitled should have free access to their land, rather than holding them for ransom by barring their entrance.

    I'm glad I read this, this is stuff I need to know to understand the sentiment of the average Palestinean. I find the lack of emotive language to be much more condusive to making the reader consider what has been posted, rather than reacting to it.

    I would like a reply from someone who can explain how this wall is anything other than intentional oppression masked as a security issue.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
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    Will you be expressing an opinion Billy - or just another cut and paste job.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
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    Originally posted by hobbes@16 November 2003 - 01:08
    I cannot find any justification for placing a wall between a man and his land. If you do so for logistic reasons, you must still make a full effort to make sure that those entitled should have free access to their land, rather than holding them for ransom by barring their entrance.

    I'm glad I read this, this is stuff I need to know to understand the sentiment of the average Palestinean. I find the lack of emotive language to be much more condusive to making the reader consider what has been posted, rather than reacting to it.

    I would like a reply from someone who can explain how this wall is anything other than intentional oppression masked as a security issue.
    The Brit's took back the Falkland Island's in 1982, North Korean president Kim Jong think's he's God, it's not only black and white Hobbes. Hopefully this will help you and other's understand this conflict a little more, to be honest I have a hard time understanding the whole mess sometimes....And I'm not Jewish, nor Palestinian.

    quick overview
    a little more

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
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    Originally posted by J'Pol@16 November 2003 - 11:45
    Will you be expressing an opinion Billy - or just another cut and paste job.
    Just for you JP***.

    In my opinion;
    • Scotland did well to beat Holland.
      Citroens drive well, but look shit.
      Manchester United should never have sold David Beckham.
      Baby seals should not be clubbed to death.
      Australia is a better place to live than Britain.


    Is that enough? Thank you for being interested in my opinions, I shall try hard to reciprocate.




  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    That would be no.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
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    Originally posted by protak+16 November 2003 - 06:30--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (protak @ 16 November 2003 - 06:30)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-hobbes@16 November 2003 - 01:08
    I cannot find any justification for placing a wall between a man and his land.&nbsp; If you do so for logistic reasons, you must still make a full effort to make sure that those entitled should have free access to their land, rather than holding them for ransom by barring their entrance.

    I&#39;m glad I read this, this is stuff I need to know to understand the sentiment of the average Palestinean. I find the lack of emotive language to be much more condusive to making the reader consider what has been posted, rather than reacting to it.

    I would like a reply from someone who can explain how this wall is anything other than intentional oppression masked as a security issue.
    The Brit&#39;s took back the Falkland Island&#39;s in 1982, North Korean president Kim Jong think&#39;s he&#39;s God, it&#39;s not only black and white Hobbes. Hopefully this will help you and other&#39;s understand this conflict a little more, to be honest I have a hard time understanding the whole mess sometimes....And I&#39;m not Jewish, nor Palestinian.

    quick overview
    a little more [/b][/quote]
    The following Macromedia Flash presentation was created by Udi Ohana of Kfar-Saba, Israel.


    If I make a presentation, showing something that is wholley one sided.....this does not mean that it is true.

    To start with..."The Balfour Declaration" was a means of gaining Jewish allies for WWI.

    Britain could only legitimately create an independant State within its own borders; not in land occupied by itself but not owned by itself (Palestine was a Mandate, not a colony)

    It excludes the years that the Jewish were using the same tactics as the Palestinians are using now, to create a State. It excludes the UN resolutions against Israel, it impies that 1967 it was defending itself...Israel was the aggressor in that war. It excludes the fact that Arafat and the PLO gave up on terrorism in the mid 1970&#39;s and recognised Israels right to exist...indeed it actually says he&#39;s still sending terrorists, when this is going against his best interests.


    If you want to be recognised as posting fairly, then at least try and use balanced methods to get your viewpoint across. There are posters that are on Israels side, on Pallestinians side and that think both sides are at fault.....however they at least find stuff to support their view that is not so obviously one sided in its viewpoint.....

    Believe me, any stuff as one sided as this will be used against you, by the Pro-Pallestinian lobby.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
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    Originally posted by J&#39;Pol@16 November 2003 - 19:51
    That would be no.
    If you were to ask Sharedholder the same question I may find time to take you seriously. As it is, I&#39;m still pissed off that you took my shit stirring crown from me.



  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    Originally posted by Billy_Dean+16 November 2003 - 18:13--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Billy_Dean &#064; 16 November 2003 - 18:13)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-J&#39;Pol@16 November 2003 - 19:51
    That would be no.
    If you were to ask Sharedholder the same question I may find time to take you seriously. As it is, I&#39;m still pissed off that you took my shit stirring crown from me.


    [/b][/quote]


    As I understand it the chap is a young Romanian, living in Italy. I can understand why he does what he does.

    On the other hand, you just cutting and pasting these long articles without so much as

    "I agree with the above .... " or whatever, just seems pointless.

    To each their own tho&#39;. If it keeps you happy then what the heck, you fill your boots.

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