15 May 2009
In commemoration of the 61st year of al Nakba, residents from all over the Jenin area went to Aneen to demonstrate against the Apartheid Wall built on Palestinian land. About 300 woman, children, and men marched together in a peaceful protest towards a gate in the Wall, chanting in Arabic and English.
When the crowd reached the gate, the chanting increased and people fixed posters and Palestinian flags on the razor wire. Several speeches were held at the scene; amongst the speakers was the founder of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The non-violent demonstration went on for an hour. Then everyone walked back to the village without incident. Three military jeeps were parked by the gate even before the demonstration had started, and about a dozen soldiers were standing on the other side of the gate with their weapons pointed at the crowd initially.
Aneen is a village northwest of Jenin, with a population of 12,000 inhabitants. The Wall was built on Palestinian land in 2002 during the massacre at the Jenin refugee camp.
11,000 dunums of Aneen’s land were appropriated for construction of the Apartheid Wall Wall. Even more land is unreachable for the farmers, because it is situated on the other side of the wall. The Palestinians need permits to enter the gate to go to their land.
For the olive harvest last year, 1,600 farmers received permits. This year, only 30 farmers where granted a permit to go to their land, mainly elderly and often sick farmers who are not able to work their land themselves. Last year, two of the permits that were handed out to the villagers were in the name of individuals who had already died more than two years ago.
Even those who receive a permit are not sure that they will be able to pass the gate. The people who want to pass have to stand in line from 4 o clock in the morning to have a chance of passing since the gate is only open until 7 am. After that, they are closed until the afternoon.
The Israeli army only lets one person at a time pass the gate. There are four doors to be passed, the third door has electrical sensors so it alerts the Army if someone tries to pass the gate unattended.