Ciarab's Blog


Day 2 in Palestine.
February 5, 2012, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Day 2 in Palestine.

Had an amazing day yesterday in some of the harshest lands in Palestine. Joined the group Ta’ayush for a day of productive activities. Had an extremely interesting day. Met many Jewish Israeli’s who work with Palestinians and this was one of my first times working jointly with them. Some people might call this a form of normalisation however after spending the day with them, in my opinion working with them has many positive aspects. Many had very interesting views and ideals some which I agree with and others with whom I didn’t. But I won’t go into that now!

Whilst traveling to our destination it hit me, more so than before the blatant apartheid system of israel. In the last year and a half it was astonishing to witness first hand the increasing expanion of illegal settlements. New houses and outposts are popping up everywhere. It’s bloody disgusting to be letting israel away with this. We took the Israeli road route 60. This one of the only Israeli built roads that Palestinians can use however many times gates are not open so they must take secondary Palestinian roads.  Imagine not being able to use the road between Castlebar to Westport or Cork to Mallow and having to use secondary roads to get from A to B! It would take hours. This is life for Palestinians. Apartheid israel has devised a ‘cunning and devious plan’ according to one member of Ta’ayush to ethnically cleasne Palestinians from their land.

So we began the day in Umm Al-Khayr where a Palestinian home had been demolished in January by the israeli occupation forces (iof). The house was home to a Bedouin widow and her seven children whom have been transferred many times since 1948 to different areas of the South Hebron Hills. This community live in extreme conditions with little access to water. To make living conditions more unbearable the illegal carmel jewish settlement is just meters away from their homes. A road has been recently paved and next to it the iof have built a fence next to Umm Al-Khayr and not in the settlement. For obvious reasons, ‘this is an excuse to expand the ‘security zone’ of the settlement and thus the exclusion of Palestinians from yet another area’ (Ta’ayush). There are outposts also in the area where uber crazy zionist settlers live. Palestinians have been attacked daily by these settlers. Also, as this Palestinian community rely on their livestock for survival the expansion of settlements in the area makes grazing for their herd increasingly difficult. Members of Ta’ayush regularly escort Palestinians and their herds in order to deter the settlers from attacking Palestinians and their livestock. Most of the group spent the day with the Bedouin community clearing the demolished house in order to start rebuilding again. It is more than likely that when the house is rebuilt, the Bedouin community will be issued with yet another demolition order by the iof. Another form of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by israel!

Whilst working in Umm Al-Khayr a member of Ta’ayush received a phone call to say that a group of joggers were being arrested by the iof close by. We decided to go there and witness events and to see if there was anything we could do. The group are mostly Americans who are running across Palestine raising money to assist Palestinian farmers and promote fair trade. However upon arriving, two French men had been arrested and earlier a Palestinian man was arrested. The Palestinian man is being charged by the iof for organising an illegal demonstration! So, now it is illegal to run on Palestinian land according to israel .. . . bloody comical. . . A link is here to the arrests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym-9Nui9zFY&feature=youtu.be

We then returned to Umm Al-Khayr to finish work. We then proceeded to an area called Susiyeh again in the Hebron Hills. A road had been destroyed by jewish settlers and so work commenced to level out the road to allow young children to access their school. The school has also received a demolition order so a public meeting was held and concluded with cactus planting. Combatants for Peace, another organisation were also there planting. It was very interesting to speak to some members. Many were young ex-israeli military soldiers who had served in the israeli army and older members who have served in the israeli military. Most were not willing to discuss their experiences for obvious reasons!

The day ended with a beer on Manger Square. Im very happy to be back in Palestine. Any questions or comments would be much appreciated. also, Im having problems with uploading photos but will do so when possible. Thanks.

You can find a link here to Ta’ayush: http://www.taayush.org/
A link to Combatants for peace can be found here: http://cfpeace.org/?page_id=2

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