|Palestinian National InitiativeAttempting on popular non-violent resistance against the apartheid wall
Ramallah, 08-07-08: MP Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initivative held a press conference on the eve of the 4th anniversary of the International Court Advisory decision that determined that the Wall is illegal under the international law and is not a security necessity. As a consequence, the ICJ ruled that Israel must halt the construction of the Wall, return the land to Palestinians whose property has been seized and pay compensation to them.
Still, four years after the International Court of Justice opinion, Israel is passing over the international by the ongoing building the apartheid Wall in Ni‘lin.
Dr. Barghouthi stressed on the needed support on non-violent popular struggles against the Wall and invited the PLO to immediately transfer the resolution to United Nations. "The apartheid Wall is a part of the Israeli strategy to impose a fait accompli on the ground", he said.
According to the Deputy, what is happening on the ground today, despite Annapolis negotiations, is the continuation of the implementation of the Alon Plan, a strategy planned since the 1967 occupation, that consisted of annexation of more than 40% of the territories to Israel by the establishment of settlements in Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley, aiming to fragment the West Bank into Cantons and ghettos.
"The Israeli policy, along with the settlements plans, the apartheid Wall and checkpoints, are preventing de facto the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state ", Barghouthi said, "turning the idea of an independent Palestinian state into a mere network of ghettos and cantons".
When completed, the Wall will be 800 kilometers long, 3 times the size of the border between Israel and the West Bank. For the Deputy, "the Wall was not designed for security reasons, as Israel claims, but aims the looting of the land, as 87% of the Wall is built inside the Palestinians side of the Green line."
As a consequence of the ICJ ruling, Israel must halt the construction of the Wall, remove all the settlements as well as halt its ‘fait accompli‘ procedures in Jerusalem.
The deputy pointed out that the process of the building of the Wall, associated with the imposition of a fait accompli on the ground is identical to Israel‘s refusal to implement Oslo and the handover of power in the Palestinians territories, again preventing the creation of an autonomous Palestinians state.
According to Dr. Barghouti, the recent movements of popular struggle is the people‘s answer to a long delay in implementing The Hague decision and to the fact that the negotiations rounds have not changes anything to the ongoing policy of settlements building.
Moreover, after Annapolis, the settlements expansion has risen 11 times, and checkpoints have gone from 521 to 607. All this, prompted Palestinian citizens to take the initiative and defend their right themselves.
" The recent popular movements, are the expression of the people‘s will who won‘t no longer accept the reality Israel imposes to them, because the confiscation and the apartheid policy has reached such a point that they couldn‘t stand it anymore." Said the Deputy.
Dr. Barghouthi reviewed some damages left by the apartheid Wall in some village across the West Bank, where the villagers are peacefully demonstrating –sometimes for years- to protest against the illegal confiscation of their land:
- In Abud village, the building of the Wall and the settlements will cover 23% of the village‘s land.
- In At-Tuwani, the Wall and the settlements confiscated 1,500 dunums to the villagers. About 100-70 dununs are confiscated every year.
- In Azzun Atma, in the Qalqilya district, 700 dunums over 5,000 were confiscated. When over, the Wall will take some 4,000 more from the villagers.
- In Beit Sira, the occupation authorities confiscated 25% of the 4,600 dunums of the town were confiscated for settlement purpose. 65% more were stolen in 2006 to build the Wall.
- In Biddu, the building of Har Hadar settlement confiscated to the Bedouin 35,000 dunums of the 64,000 of the original land.
- In Jayyous, 75% of the highly valuable agricultural land is located on the other side of the apartheid wall and bulldozers have uprooted some 5,000 olive trees.
- In Marda, Salfit directorate, 33% of the lands were confiscated for the extension of Ariel settlement.
- In Qibya, the Wall prevents the villagers to access 80% of their agricultural land.
- 6 settlements have been established in the Region, controlling up to 60% of Bi‘lin and the neighboring villages.
Dr. Barghouti added that the Israeli violence towards peaceful demonstrators in Ni‘lin as led to considerable destructions. Dozens of people wounded: citizens, journalists and international activists. The village was declared close military area and was held under curfew for four consecutive days, preventing all entry and exit from the village, even for ambulances.
Prior to 1948, the lands of Ni‘lin amounted to some 58,000 dunums and stretched as far as the towns of Ramle and Lod, which now lie inside Israel. Following the Nakba, 40,000 dunums of this land were annexed to the newly created Israeli state. Since 1982, the construction of the illegal Israeli settlements of Nili and Nala have eaten up a further 8,000 dunums of land belonging to the village. Now, the Wall aims to seize some 2,700 dunums more.
Water (932 mcm available in total) 132 800
Per Capita 50 2,400
GDP 1000 $ 24,500 $
Cost per Unity of water (shekels) 5 2.5
Cost per Unity of electricity (shekels) 13 6.3
Mustafa Barghouthi called to adopt a national strategy that combines non-violent popular resistance and a national awakening of a broader movement of international solidarity and national unity.