Saffa Campaign Begins!
On Sunday, October 3, 2010, farmers from Saffa, accompanied by international and Israeli solidarity activists, worked their lands near the illegal Israeli settlement of Bat Ayn. The Palestine Solidarity Project has organized a campaign in the Saffa Valley to support the farmers every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday over the next couple of months as they clear their lands in preparation for planting. Over the last several years, the farmers have been harassed by settlers from Bat Ayn or prevented from reaching their lands by the Israeli military.
This past Sunday, on the first day of the campaign, farmers cleared the land by burning and uprooting shrubs on the hill adjacent to Bat Ayn. After less than an hour of work, an Israeli military jeep drove up to the area and two soldiers told the farmers to stop burning the land because the smoke was bothering the settlers. The farmers asserted their rights to work the land, and continued to make controlled fires to clear brush. After another half an hour of working, the farmers finished their work but will return several times a week to ensure that their land is not annexed by the Bat Ayn settlement.