‘This is our land!’: West Bank Village Wadi Fukin Fights Largest Israeli Land Grab in Decades

2 October 2014

P9263467
At 09/26 at 1pm around 100 people gathered for a demonstration in Wadi Fukin. Wadi Fukin, a of approximately 1,250, may be the smallest of the five villages threatened by Israel’s recent mass land grab, but these days it’s certainly not the quietest. 
The village is located near the separation wall and is surrounded by the settlements of Beitar Illit and Hadar Beitar in the north and Tsur Hadassah in the west. Recently the state of Israel annexed another 4000 dunams of land. Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to Wadi Fukin, which already lost most of its property after 1967. That’s why people of Wadi Fukin decided to call for a weekly demonstration to show their resistance – the first demonstrations in many years.

The plan was to plant some olive trees on land close to the settlement of Beitar Illit. First the demonstrators marched towards the settlement. Soon they were confronted by the military who called the area a closed military zone and asked the people to leave in 15 minutes, otherwise they would arrest everybody. But the people of Wadi Fukin chose to stay and started to dig holes for the trees which they planted and watered. Even stun grenades couldn’t change their mind and they finished their work. A group of young female protesters succeeded in keeping up the moral by singing and shouting slogans.P9263503

After 20 minutes, although it was a totally peaceful demonstration and children and elderly people were around, the Israeli military decided to use violent force. They shot tear gas at the demonstrators who were pushed back to the village. Some gotten injured and had to be taken care of. Clashes between shabab and the IDF followed. It is likely that after such an event the IDF will increase the pressure on the village by night raids.