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IWPS: Jayyus villagers protest the Apartheid Wall and the theft of their land

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On Friday July 11th, IWPS volunteers joined the villagers of Jayyus, other international activists, Israelis and local Palestinian government officials in a peaceful demonstration against the Apartheid Wall. Jayyus, located in the Qalqilya district of the West Bank, was one of the first villages to be affected by the construction of this “separation barrier”: over 78% of Jayyus’ land (9,800 dunums), as well as 2,000 olive trees were confiscated by Israel for the construction of the wall in 2002.

Farmers who wish to access the fields lying beyond it must now apply for difficult to obtain permits and pass through one of three gates in order to reach their land. This has caused numerous financial problems in the village’s families, as most are now cut off from their main source of income, agriculture.

Due to a 2006 ruling by the Israeli high court stating that settlements were to be a considered a security priority, Israeli army officials were asked to draw up new routes for the separation wall. The new plans for Jayyus still mean a loss of 6000 dunums of land, and further disadvantage the village by not including access gates to the fields which would remain behind the wall. The Jayyus community has until July 28th to respond to this new proposal, but the message they sent Israel as they stood in front of one of the gates today was loud and clear: remove all sections of the Apartheid Wall!

Jayyus is calling for international support in removing the Apartheid Wall from its land as well as from all of the occupied Palestinian territories. July 9th marked the 4th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s hearing, which deemed the wall illegal. Israel has yet to remove any part of it.