22 February 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus, Occupied Palestine
By ISM Nablus
The small Bedouin communities of ‘Arab Ramadin al-Janubi and ‘Arab Ab
Farda lie south of Qalqilya between the apartheid wall and the green line,close to the illegal settlement Alfe Menashe. They are separated from the rest of West Bank from all sides by the Israeli apartheid wall. The communities, founded by people deported from areas in Negev and Netanya during and after the Nakba are today home to around 500 people. They suffer from multiple restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities,including no permissions for new buildings or expansion of existing buildings, and limits to the amount of food and gas allowed for sale in the communities.
Access to the communities is limited by Israel with a permission system. The system of access permissions has effectively resulted in the social isolation of the communities, as people from the city of Qalqilya and neighboring villages face difficulties in obtaining permits for visiting the area.
The community of Abu Farda has no access to running water or electricity,and thus water has to be bought in tanks from the village of ‘Azzun. There is a well on the grounds of the village, but the illegal settlement Alfe Menashe has confiscated the well and closed access to it for the inhabitants of Abu Farda. People from the family Fayez living in Abu Farda told us:
“The lack of electricity is a big problem, as we are not able to
refrigerate food bought from merchants or the yogurt and milk we produce ourselves for sale, and our children are not able to do their homework after dark due to lack of lighting.”
Furthermore, the Israeli authorities do not allow veterinaries access to the villages, which is a health risk for the village as it is largely dependent on the raising of livestock.
In October 2012 the community of Ramadin al-Janubi founded a school for 6 to 8 year old children. The new school gives it’s 25 students the opportunity to go to school without having to pass daily through the Israeli checkpoints between the community and a school in the nearby village of Habla. Children older than 8 years still have to go to school outside the community, and in order to reach their schools and go back home they need to cross the Israeli checkpoints twice every single day.
The school in Ramadin, consisting of 4 tents, received a demolition order from the Israeli authorities after two weeks of operation. The faculty of the school live in Qalqilya and have to spend from 30 minutes to over an hour every day passing through the checkpoint and having their papers and belongings examined by the IOF forces at the checkpoint in order to access the school. For now, the village has taken the demolition order to court, and is waiting to for the court hearings to take place.