Israeli setlement and raized olive field in Beit Furik
Today, August 12th 2006, in the village of Salim, near the city of Nablus, Palestinians joined one another in solidarity to resist soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) who were attempting to prevent a villager from farming his land. Later that day, a Palestinian woman with Israeli citizenship was detained at Beit Furik checkpoint because her husband was “wanted.”
In the village of Salem, a Palestinian farmer attempted to travel up a mountain to farm olive trees planted on his land. On his way up the mountain, he was detained by Israeli soldiers who told the man that he was not allowed to travel to his land without permission from the Israeli D.C.O. (District Coordination Office). Furthermore, because of his attempt to farm his land, the farmer was being detained. In an act of resistance and solidarity, the villagers of Salem, came to the aid of the farmer, when they arrived, they stood with the man and collectively negotiated his release. Because of their joint efforts, the man was released from detention, though he was still prevented from farming his land.
Salem village is surrounded by a number of Israeli settlements. The settlers of one particular colony recently attacked the village of Salim, cutting down hundreds of trees.
Israeli military guard tower overlooking Beit Furik
Later in the same day, as internationals were crossing Beit Furik checkpoint, they encountered a woman being held in detention. The woman, approximately 35 years old, was at the checkpoint with her two children, one of which a newborn, while the other was about 3 years old. The soldiers of the IOF explained that while the Palestinian woman had a valid Israeli passport, she was being detained because her husband was “wanted.” She had been at the checkpoint, with her children, for over 4 hours. The IOF told the woman that she was waiting for a police transport, then changed their story telling the woman that she was waiting on the D.C.O. Despite these claims, after over 4 hours of military detention, the woman and her children were released without charge.
During conversation with the soldiers, one proudly explained that while the woman’s Israeli passport helped her “case” she was still an Arab-Israeli and said, “I can detain whoever I want, but if she was Jewish, she would be let go.” When asked why the police had not arrived to transport the woman after 4 hours, the soldier responded, “The police, they do this, they take a longtime because she is Arab.”
This type of harassment and collective punishment is a regular occurrence in the villages of Palestine, especially those around Nablus.