International Solidarity Movement
8 March 2010
A group of Israeli settlers today destroyed a spring by the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the Salfit district. The settlers poured sand and cement into the spring, guarded by five armed members of the Israeli military.
Palestinians from the village were forced to watch helplessly as events unfolded, prevented by the soldiers from moving close to the spring or from filming what was happening. International Solidarity Movement volunteers were able to secretly film for a short time before the soldiers noticed, and made both Palestinians and Internationals leave, saying that the area was now designated as a Closed Military Zone.
Last Friday, a group of Palestinians and internationals spent the day clearing the area around the spring to make it more accessible from the village. This followed previous attacks from settlers on nearby springs and farmland, during which a child suffered serious head wounds, from which he is still recovering in hospital, and an elderly man had his arm and leg broken.
Locals intend to continue their attempts to keep the spring open, and to turn the area around it into a park for the use of the village.
Under international law, the settlement next to Qarawat Bani Hassan is illegal, as are all other settlements in the occupied West Bank.