27 April 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
The village of Izbat Al Tabib outside Qalqilya is currently being threatened by the creation of a wall, which will annex 1000 square meters of their agricultural land. The village is situated right next to highway 55, and under the pretext of preventing stones being thrown onto the highway, the Israeli Civil Administration plans to build two walls, between which will be a buffer zone of Palestinian land. This will separate Izbat Al Tabib from the highway annexing vital agricultural land.
The army is planning to begin constructing the wall on 1st May. Villagers received the notice on 3rd April and were given two weeks to file a complaint. Their complaint was rejected on 23rd and they plan to take it to the Supreme Court on 28th. The army has also recently began entering the village and making arrests.
The village, which contains 45 houses and is home to 247 inhabitants, was built in the 1920’s and is located in area C. The village is not recognized by Israel and 32 out of 45 houses, and a school, have been served with demolition orders. Due to its location, Izbat Al Tabib is extremely isolated: it is the fifth poorest village in the West Bank and villagers have already lost 45% of their land to the illegal annexation wall. Farmers are forced to apply for permits to access areas of their land which are located near to the highway, however these are rarely given and when they are it is only to one farmer at a time.
In 1997 Israel attempted to make the east of the village into an industrial zone, however the village resisted this with demonstrations and after six months plans were dropped.