International Solidarity Movement http://palsolidarity.org Nonviolence. Justice. Freedom. Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:03:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Home demolition orders issued in Qalqilya http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/home-demolition-orders-issued-in-qalqilya/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/home-demolition-orders-issued-in-qalqilya/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 07:03:32 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41100 24th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Hajja, Occupied Palestine

On Monday November 17th, the Israeli occupation army invaded the village of Hajja, in the Qalqilya district and issued five home demolition orders. The village of Hajja includes land that is officially considered Area C, as well as Area B, but the village is treated entirely as if it is part of Area C. Area C makes up 60% of the entire occupied West Bank, and is under full Israeli military and civilian control. Palestinians living here face many restrictions, including building limitations.

Hajja is located near the main road to Tulkaram, a road frequently traveled on by Israeli forces. Villagers say that they see occupation soldiers nearly every day.

The five home demolition orders were distributed as the families did not have “official permission” to build or renovate their existing houses. In Area C, Palestinians are required to obtain permission from the Israeli military before doing any construction; however, such permits are nearly impossible to get in reality. Due to this, many Palestinians who need more space or a new home simply build without permission and take the risk of future home demolition.

According to one of the family’s who received a stop work order on the new house they are building for their family of nine, the Israeli occupation forces enter the village with Israeli civilian authorities approximately every 18 months. Each time they come, they check to make sure no one is building without permission; when they find people who are not following the impossible permit system (and they nearly always do), they issue stop work orders or home demolition orders. Although the family that received the stop work order is building a new home and thus will not face homelessness if it is destroyed, the other four homes facing demolition will cause the families there to become homeless.

People will continue building, even knowing that they face possible demolition, because it is necessary to meet the needs of their expanding families. Permits are almost impossible, so what other option do they have? In the meantime, the families await the destruction of their homes.

House demolition in Qalqilya in 2011 (photo by ISM).

House demolition in Qalqilya in 2011 (photo by ISM).

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Israeli military beat and detain young men in Hebron http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-military-beat-and-detain-young-men-in-hebron/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-military-beat-and-detain-young-men-in-hebron/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:18:40 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41090 23rd November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Yesterday evening Israeli forces beat and detained young Palestinians on Tel Rumeida hill in al-Khalil (Hebron).

Photo by Youth Against Settlements (https://www.facebook.com/media.yas)

Photo by Youth Against Settlements (https://www.facebook.com/media.yas)

A twenty-two-year-old man was taken from the scene by an ambulance. Four others between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four were handcuffed and detained in a military compound, where they were held for about half an hour and questioned by police.

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When ISM activists arrived, Israeli soldiers were already swarming the scene, surrounding the injured man and taking the four detained Palestinians into the closed compound. At least thirty heavily armed soldiers stood guarding the compound and occupying the street.

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Photo by Youth Against Settlements (https://www.facebook.com/media.yas)

Soldiers’ stories were contradictory, some said the youths had thrown a Molotov cocktail, others claimed they had been throwing stones. Though they purported to have evidence, the Israeli forces could produce none.

The father of one of the young men the soldiers had detained attempted to see his son, but was denied by the soldiers. A Palestinian contact at the scene explained that the man’s other son, the brother of the man arrested, had been shot in the head at age eighteen by Israeli soldiers and suffered brain damage as a result. The father hurled vitriol at the soldiers standing around the compound, cursing them and the Israeli occupation vividly in Arabic. “You shot my other son, now you want to kill him [the son who was detained]!”

The youth’s mother arrived later, accompanied by her son, the same brother who had been shot in the same neighborhood three years earlier. They were both also denied entry into the military compound where the four Palestinians were held.

Observers from ISM and a local Palestinian organization watched from a nearby roof, as the Palestinians stood handcuffed among soldiers and police. Though no more violence occurred in the compound, later in the night a few Palestinian youths ran out from a nearby side street and one threw a Molotov cocktail toward the parked military vehicles, causing no injuries or damage. Over eighteen Israeli soldiers ran up the road in a fruitless attempt to pursue the boys.

Further up the street, soldiers attempted to set up a roadblock using Palestinian cars. They ordered the drivers to park across the road, taking their keys and placing them on top of the vehicles. Israeli forces made no attempt, however, to enforce their order; the Palestinian drivers took an opportunity to drive away once the soldiers moved back down the road.

An ISM activist present stated, “I’ve never seen soldiers do something like this before, and it was clear the men in the cars were very confused and frightened. The soldiers then moved down another road, and detained a young man and stopped several cars. They were very hostile; pointing their guns aggressively at everyone, there seemed to be little point to their behaviour beyond intimidation and harassment.”

It was only one incident in a night of strange occurrences, among weeks of tension, violence and frustration for the people of Tel Rumeida. Palestinians at the scene spoke of incidents on other nights, in other places, at other times, as occupation soldiers indiscriminately harassed the local population. All five of the young Palestinians were from the neighbourhood, and the four arrested were driven away as their neighbours and families looked on. The complete lack of evidence did, however, apparently sway the police; a local Palestinian source reported that all the Palestinians who had been detained were released at a nearby checkpoint.

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Israeli forces seize a tractor, its truck, four water tanks, and three bases from Susiya village http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-forces-seize-a-tractor-its-truck-four-water-tanks-and-three-bases-from-susiya-village/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-forces-seize-a-tractor-its-truck-four-water-tanks-and-three-bases-from-susiya-village/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:18:56 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41079 22nd November 2014 | Operation Dove | Susiya, Occupied Palestine

On November 20th, the Israeli forces seized a tractor, its truck, four water tanks and three tanks’ bases from the Palestinian village of Susiya.

Photo by Operation Dove

Photo by Operation Dove

In the early morning DCO [District Coordination Office] officers approached the Palestinian village to take pictures of the ongoing works to install four new water tanks. In the early afternoon DCO officers returned with Israeli army, police, two trucks, one of which was equipped with a mechanical arm.

The tractor and its truck, that carried water cisterns and their bases, were seized with the accusation of being used for illegal works, since Palestinians didn’t have permissions to install new water tanks. Tanks and bases were seized without any previous issued demolition order under the pretext that they were not yet installed on the ground.

Photo by Operation Dove

Photo by Operation Dove

Water tanks were geared of filters to provide drinkable water and were donated to the Palestinian village because of the lack of drinkable water that effects all the South Hebron Hills area.

The Palestinian village of Susiya is located in Area C, under Israeli military and civil administration, and it is surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Suseya, the outpost of Suseya’s Ancient Synagogue and the military base of Suseya North. Around the settlement and the military base there are 26 wells and water cisterns that Palestinians are forbidden to use even if they are on Palestinian private proprieties. Even more, the CO doesn’t allow Palestinian residents of Susiya to connect to Israeli Makorot Company’s water pipes that run right through the Palestinian village and bring water from the settlement of Suseya to the outpost of the Ancient Synagogue.

Palestinian residents of Susiya pay 35 NIS per cubic meter of tanked water, six times more than the nearby settlement, which is served by the network, and Palestinian residents spend up to 1/3 of their income on water. Water consumption of Palestinians in Susiya is 28 liters/capita/day, significantly less than the 70 l/c/d consumed by an average Palestinian and well below the World Health Organization standard of 100 l/c/d. (source OCHA OPT)

The Palestinian inhabitants of Susiya are struggling through non-violent popular resistance in order to gain the right to access their own lands and to live a dignified life.

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

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Three shot with live ammunition during Nabi Saleh protest http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/three-shot-with-live-ammunition-during-nabi-saleh-protest/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/three-shot-with-live-ammunition-during-nabi-saleh-protest/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:56:58 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41070 22nd November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah team | Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine

Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians participating in a weekly Friday demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh.  Soldiers fired .22 caliber bullets, a form of live ammunition which has maimed and killed multiple Palestinians, even as Israel continues to claim it as a “less lethal” way of assaulting demonstrators.

Yesterday at noon between forty and fifty Palestinians, Israelis, international activists and journalists marched down from the center of Nabi Saleh towards a water spring stolen by a nearby illegal settlement. The Israeli forces awaited them down the road with two military jeeps and a police jeep. Some youth threw stones towards the military vehicles.  Soldiers and police fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators as the group walked down the road.

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After a brief period of calm, a police jeep equipped with a tear gas dispenser drove up and down the road, firing tear gas at protesters. A few suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, including a boy under the age
of ten.

In addition to continuing to fire rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas, soldiers also began to shoot .22 live ammunition. Two seventeen-year-old boys were shot while throwing stones, one in the thigh
and one in both the hand and foot. One Israeli soldier fired at a child under the age of twelve as the boy was running away up the hill beside the road.

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Nariman Tamimi, a thirty-eight-year-old woman from the village, was shot in the thigh at close range with a .22 bullet. Israeli soldiers shot her in front of her children and family, driving away and leaving her in the
road. She was taken away for medical treatment, where she underwent surgery, and currently remains in hospital.

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Armed settler invades schoolyard in Hebron http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/armed-settler-invades-schoolyard-in-hebron/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/armed-settler-invades-schoolyard-in-hebron/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:55:24 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41063 20th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Yesterday, at approximately 11:00 in al-Khalil (Hebron) a settler from a nearby illegal settlement approached the Qurtuba school in H2 with a gun [H2 is the area of Hebron under Israeli military civil and security control]. The settler entered the school grounds, terrifying the children with his loaded gun. After some time the settler left but the children were forced to evacuate a building and move to another area of the school. The teachers asked for international presence until school was finished that day.

The children were rushed out of school early and internationals and Palestinians stood at a prominent place to ensure the children were safe. Not long after this, a settler attacked a Palestinian and threatened another. The settler threatened to stab a 16-year-old boy and another local Palestinian who tried to film the incident. 40-year-old Jawad Abu Aisha stated, “The settler told Awne (the 16-year-old) that he would bring a knife to stab him. Awne told me and I tried to tell the soldier so he would do something but he did not do anything. When I tried to film the settler he attacked me and tried to break my mobile but did not manage to do so.”

Photo by Christian Peacemakers Teams – Palestine

Eventually, and after much prompting by the Palestinians, the soldier stepped in and pulled the settler away. Both Palestinians were left badly shaken by the attack.

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Two Palestinian youths arrested in Hebron  http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/two-palestinian-youths-arrested-in-hebron/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/two-palestinian-youths-arrested-in-hebron/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:55:07 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41057 20th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

Late yesterday afternoon in Hebron, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinian youths, 15-year-old Ahmed Alazeh and 21-year-old Dea’a Abu Dawoud.

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A local Palestinian contact reported to ISM that Alazeh was charged with throwing stones at soldiers, while Abu Dawoud was arrested after saying to soldiers at the checkpoint, “what do you think, I have a knife?” after soldiers made him walk multiple times through a metal detector.

Stone throwing is a serious accusation as the Israeli cabinet recently approved a law which enables Israeli courts to sentence Palestinians to up to twenty years of imprisonment for throwing stones at Israeli military personnel.

The two Palestinians were arrested near the Shuhada checkpoint. The checkpoint leads to Shuhada street, a street in which Palestinians have been completely restricted from since 2000, and the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida.

The soldiers closed the checkpoint while they detained the youths and awaited the arrival of police. The closure forced residents of Tel Rumeida neighbourhood to wait up to 45 minutes before being able to continue their walk home.

The police arrived approximately 45 minutes after the first young Palestinian was detained; after a few minutes of arguing both Palestinians were led to the police car and taken away.

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Israeli forces fire 29 tear gas canisters towards youths and schoolchildren in Hebron http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-forces-fire-29-tear-gas-canisters-towards-youths-and-schoolchildren-in-hebron/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/israeli-forces-fire-29-tear-gas-canisters-towards-youths-and-schoolchildren-in-hebron/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:41:24 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41052 19th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine

This morning in al-Khalil (Hebron), clashes broke out in the Qeitun area starting between 07:00 and 08:00 near the Qeitun checkpoint. By 08:00 the group of Palestinian teenagers and young boys present had grown to approximately 100 individuals, since the school closed, most likely due to tear gas drifting inside. The large group of schoolchildren marched towards the checkpoint while chanting and shouting. Some of the boys threw stones at the checkpoint, though no soldier was either hit with a stone or injured.

Stun grenade 19-11-2014 copy

The clash went on for one and a half hours, with Israeli forces firing many tear gas canisters at the children. Two ISM’ers present saw how a group of soldiers tried to ambush a group of children, seemingly in an attempt to arrest them.

An ISM’er present stated, “Suddenly five or six soldiers came running from an alleyway, the kids saw them in time, and fled. I yelled at them [the soldiers] that they should leave, and that it was only children.”

Overall approximately 29 tear gas canisters and one stun grenade were fired.

Tear gas in Qeitun

At around 11 am the soldiers were still stationed outside the checkpoint, aiming their guns down the street, even though no stone throwing youths were present.

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VIDEO: Palestinian and international activists cross makeshift bridges over the separation wall http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/video-palestinian-and-international-activists-cross-makeshift-bridges-over-the-separation-wall/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/video-palestinian-and-international-activists-cross-makeshift-bridges-over-the-separation-wall/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 06:39:11 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41035 14th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement | Ramallah, Occupied Palestine

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Friday morning around 50 Palestinian and international activists used makeshift bridges to cross the Apartheid wall between Qalandiya and Northern Jerusalem. This non-violent direct action was in response to the restrictions Israel had placed on Palestinian worshippers wishing to access Al-Aqsa Mosque in the past months.

Activists scaled the wall one by one at around 10 am yesterday morning. Only a few hundred meters from an Israeli settlement, the activists then set about cutting through a barbed-wire fence that had been placed close to the Apartheid wall.

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Once all the activists breached the wall, the group cheered and proudly waved Palestinian flags. The action finished peacefully around 11am with no arrests. This non-violent direct action was part of a campaign entitled #On2Jerusalem and it was organized by local Palestinian popular resistance committees to show solidarity with the people of Jerusalem.

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Another action that was part of the #On2Jerusalem campaign occurred after where Palestinian and international activists attempted to march toward Jerusalem through Hizme checkpoint. The activists blocked Israeli traffic, waved Palestinian flags and sang pro-Palestine chants. Many of those present wore T-shirts with pictures of Al-Aqsa mosque with the text, “I am Palestinian under 50.” This text referred to the restrictions placed on Palestinian male worshippers under 50 in regards to entering the Al-Aqsa compound. Right away, the activists were met by heavy Israeli military and police presence and were therefore prevented from crossing through Hizme.

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The Israeli forces shouted and pushed activists as well as  journalists on several occasions and soon after Israeli forces shot a barrage of stun grenades towards the activists and press forcing them to disperse. After violently pushing two international activists carrying a large Palestinian flag, Israeli forces ended up confiscating the flag from them. One of these international activists stated, “We found ourselves holding the Palestinian flag near a group of soldiers. One soldier in front of us tore up a small Palestinian flag in front of us. Afterwards he tried to take the big flag from us. When we wouldn’t let him more soldiers helped him, we were suddenly surrounded by soldiers grabbing and pushing us, and forcing the flag out of our hands.”

Later that day and as part of the#On2Jerusalem actions, activists joined locals at Qalandiya checkpoint where clashes had been taking place for most of the morning. Israeli forces used excessive force shooting dozens of tear gas canisters and grenades in addition to stun grenades at demonstrators. Despite the Israeli army’s aggression, the non-violent demonstrators which were a few hundred in number loudly shouted pro-Palestine chants and waved flags. At one point a demonstrator was able to climb a military lookout post to hang a Palestinian flag on the top.

Photos by Jesse Roberts

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Second mosque burnt in the West Bank this month http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/second-mosque-burnt-in-the-west-bank-this-month/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/second-mosque-burnt-in-the-west-bank-this-month/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 22:06:44 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41024 12th November 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team | Mughayir, Occupied Palestine

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

At 18:00 yesterday, the Israeli army closed the main entrance to Mughayir village until midnight. At midnight the army infiltrated the village and patrolled its empty streets for the next four hours.

Sometime between 2:30-3:30 am, villagers noticed that the mosque was on fire. Failing to put out the fire, the fire brigade was called, but by the time they had arrived from Ramallah, the fire had already spread along the ground floor of the mosque and the toilets.

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

While local media reported Zionist settlers as the culprits, witnesses in the village did not see who was responsible. Mughayir mayor, Faraj Na’asan stated, “Of course we know who did it. They’ve done it before in 2012. Everybody was in their houses because the soldiers were patrolling the streets. It was either the soldiers, or settlers under their protection.”

The Mughyir mosque is the second mosque to be burned by settlers this month. Meanwhile the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is infiltrated by Israeli forces almost daily. The limiting of 50 Muslim worshipers a day, and the allowing of settler tours has sparked an upheaval in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank.

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

Photo by ISM

“It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time that the settlers attack a holy sight and especially after the attacks on al-Aqsa mosque in these past few days,” stated Sais Mughayir. “We are facing a hard time locally and internationally. So we have to be united to enhance the existence of people in their land.”

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Journal: Farming in Gaza near the Buffer Zone http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/journal-farming-in-gaza-near-the-buffer-zone/ http://palsolidarity.org/2014/11/journal-farming-in-gaza-near-the-buffer-zone/#comments Sun, 09 Nov 2014 19:47:16 +0000 http://palsolidarity.org/?p=41020 9th November | Rina Andolini | Khuza’a, Occupied Palestine

The farmers are rarely talked about. They blend into the background of the lands beyond the destroyed buildings of the towns. The reality is though, they are facing a battle themselves.

Khuza'a Buffer Zone in December 2012 (photo by ISM).

Khuza’a Buffer Zone in December 2012 (photo by ISM).

Many farmers have had their homes, and farmland attacked. Farm land attacked I repeat, I mean, who would ever have thought that land could be an enemy that needed to be struck by a missile?

Well, the attacks from the air have stopped, for now, although the buzz of the drones rarely hum a tune of silence, sometimes accompanied by the whooshing high speed winds that the F-16s bring with them.

The farmers situation is clear cut and simple; they have land and are in fear of tending to it. What is to fear when all you want to do is plough, and sow seeds, and nurture your land to provide food, shelter, and clothing to your family? How is it okay for a person to work in fear of being shot at, for doing nothing other than farm on their land?

The fence in the buffer zone is the cutoff point, so we should be able to go right up to it without fear of being shot at, or even worse, shelled, as the Israeli army rolls around in their tanks pretty much, round the clock.

Yesterday, the 8th of November, the farmers went to their land to start ploughing away at the soil to get it ready for sowing. They use a tractor. What happened when they went? The Israeli military shot in their direction. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but a tire was shot at and destroyed. These farmers struggle to even pay for contingencies such as these; work hazards caused by Israeli attacks, and why should they even have to? But they do.

So, they called several international activists here in Gaza, and said, “Please come with us to our land, we need to go there with the tractor and do our work but they keep shooting at us.”

Of course, we agreed to go and help, and even this morning, they rang two times, to make sure we were coming. They would not start their work without our presence.

This is their situation, they cannot work without fear of being shot at. It is as simple as this. Where in the world do you hear of such crimes against humanity occurring and resulting in no punishment to the aggressor?

It happens here in Gaza, in Palestine, all the time. The Israelis attack, and they continue to get away with it. The world’s silence is killing and destroying these people.

I met with a farmer, his name was Rami Salim Kudeih, he is 33 years of age, with a wife and five children. The youngest child being one month old, and the oldest, nine years of age.

I asked what he wanted to grow on this land and he said, ”wheat and lentils”.

”This is the season for it. The season may leave us and we will not have done any work because we are in constant fear of attacks from Israel. They have killed people here before on this land that is called Um Khamseen.”

”When the Israelis shoot, I feel angry and sad. A woman was killed in a nearby field too, within the last two years. My sister has also been injured whilst working on these fields, she suffered from a head injury but now she is better thanks to God, but sometimes in the cold, the pain comes in her head.”

The saddest thing of all, is that when I asked Rami, what he thought the international world could do; the world outside of the open air prison that is Gaza, his reply was indeed heartbreaking. It showed me that he had lost hope, that he is living with the situation as it is, with no sight for improvement.

‘They [the Israeli military], shoot often, they shoot in our direction, at the land, and alhamdulillah [praise to God] so far no deaths…but we never know what will happen.”

”The only solution is for the internationals to accompany us in the fields so we can do our work.”

I was expecting a response where he would ask the world to raise their voices and put pressure on the world leaders to put a stop to these crimes against humanity, but in fact, he gave a response which showed his resignation to the life that they are subjected to in Gaza. The life of living in constant fear of being attacked by Israel.

This is not how they should live, this is not how anyone should live, but the people of Gaza do. When will we do something to let these people live the life they have a right to and deserve?

During our time this morning out on the field, we were between 100 – 150 metres away from the fence, things were quiet, though we did see two Israeli tanks rolling around close by, and then go into hiding.

The farmers managed to carry out their work in peace and then we left.

The point is though, they should not need to have any internationals present, they should be able to go safely to their land without any worries.

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