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Artas: Solidarity With a Local Farmer

By the ISM Media Team

June 29th, 2007. At approximately 11.00 am a group of about 40 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals gathered in the fields of the Palestinian village of Artas to protest against the construction of the, according to international law, illegal Israeli Apartheid-Wall and to support a local farmer in entering his land.

His fields are going to be ruined by the construction of a sewage-system for the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat, as well by the construction of the Apartheid-Wall. Approximately one month ago, Israeli military and bulldozers, uprooted about 40 apricot trees and forbid the owner to enter his area.

When the demonstrators were about to proceed to the uprooted area, where a part of the sewage-system has already been constructed, the way was immediately blocked by about 15 soldiers, preventing the demonstration of going further. After a couple of minutes and several attempts to negotiate with the soldiers, the Israeli military surprisingly allowed the Palestinian farmer and his supporters to enter his land.

The next 30 minutes were spent, by an impassioned and moving speech. The land owner and some other Palestinians explained their miserable situation to the present media, as well as to the international activists, and asked them not to stay silent in the face of the injustice and oppression they have seen, but to spread their messages all over the world.

Despite one incident of unprovoked violence against a Palestinian, the demonstration in Artas was a successful and enjoyable time for all of the demonstrators present. Since it was the first time in 40 days, that the farmer has been allowed to enter his field, the demonstrators reached their aim in a peaceful way, without any people being arrested or injured. The demonstration concluded by the farmers offering to all the activists, to get fruit from his trees, which everybody was happy to do.