Thursday, July 23, 2009

Repairing the Damage of Israeli army Incursion:

-ISM Gaza Strip

Thursday morning, 2 farmers from Abassan Jeddida (east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip), accompanied by 3 international human rights workers from the International Solidarity Movement, returned to the site of an Israeli military incursion 2 days earlier, to attempt to repair a water well damaged in the invasion. The farmers’ land in question sits roughly 400m from the Green Line.

On July 21st, 4 Israeli tanks and 2 Israeli military bulldozers invaded the area, having crossed over the Green Line, and wreaked considerable damage to the area, including re-visiting a house previously nearly-destroyed by the Israeli army to finish the task. The house is now a pile of rubble, as is the case with 100s of homes in the Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ region along Gaza’s Green Line boundary.

Farmers examined the motor of the well, finding the parts destroyed and in need of replacement. In besieged Gaza, under a full siege which allows less than 40 items into the Strip, replacing the motor will prove difficult and expensive. If the farmers are lucky and able to repair the motor, it is hoped that no other damage done to the well will prevent its functioning.

Ten dunums (1 dunum=1000 square metres) of parsely and 27 dunums of chilli peppers depend on this water source. The two crops are already nearing maturity; the water is critical.

Palestinian farmers in the buffer zone continue to be collectively punished by the Israeli authorities’ arbitrary imposition of no-go zones, the Israeli army’s indiscriminate shooting at civilians in and beyond the ‘300m buffer zone’, the burning of cropland, and the destruction of such infrastructure as wells, irrigation piping, greenhouses, farming equipment and tractors.