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Israeli forces kidnap 2 farmers in Qalqiliya region

11 May 2009

At 7 am Sunday morning, May 10, 2009, two farmers from Izbaht Tabib, Jaefar Tabib, 23, and Naem Tayayhe, 30, were arrested as they went out to work their land. They remain in custody.

In the evening of the same day, a bus with about 60 settlers, accompanied by the Israeli army, came to the area. They appeared to discuss the area while looking at maps. The farm land is vital for the farmers, and they suspect that the objective of the settlers’ visit may be a first step towards constructing a new settlement.

Izbaht Tabib, a small village established before 1948, has a population of 226 Palestinian refugees.

Despite the 2005 court decision to alter the route of the Wall which is already constructed between Izbaht Tabib and Azzun, the Apartheid Wall in the northern West Bank continues to be built. Fifty percent of Palestinian land has already been taken by the construction of the Wall in Azzoun. Azzoun is isolated by the Wall on the east side and the west side as well as road 55 in the south. Today, 60 % of Palestinians in this area are living below the poverty line since there are no jobs.

According to the mayor of the Azzoun Municipality, Mr. E. Iyad Khalaph, this is part of Israel’s ‘transfer’ tactic to impoverish residents so that they will leave their land on their own to make a living elsewhere.

Checkpoints are often set up around the village and soldiers in jeeps enter in the daytime and evenings, asking to see I.D.cards and questioning the local population. Additionally, Israeli settlers often enter the village and harrass Palestinian residents.

Several residents are also threatened with home demolition orders with no specific time line.