For the last ten days, large numbers of Occupation Forces and settlers have invaded the lands isolated behind the Apartheid Wall in Jayyus, north Qalqiliya. On a hill which is located on Jayyus lands close to the Wall on the western side, Occupation Forces have now established some kind of a military âcampâ, installing a number of tents and surrounding them with concrete blocks. In addition, they have also started opening new paths in the lands with signs labeled with the names of previous Occupation leaders as well as other signs that have the names of alcoholic drinks on them, which hold certain military meanings. The paths and signs extend from Jayyus lands to the neighboring village of Falamya, where these signs are installed at road junctions. Further, settlers have been organizing speeches calling for the construction of new settlements on these lands, while Occupation soldiers behind them carry out surveys and put up the different signs.
In a warped and confusing display, Occupation Forces have also brought large numbers of settlers dressed as civilians who pretend to be Palestinian farmers waiting on the gates, trying to break them open or throw stones at the Occupation soldiers, while videotaping the whole act. More recently, there has been a great deal of heavy gunfire and tear gas as well coming from the area.
What seems to be some sort of Occupation military âtrainingâ has been continuing for ten days now, with Occupation Forces focusing their presence in the isolated Jayyus lands near to the Wall, as close as possible to the village. Occupation Forces will not let any of the villagers approach them and will not explain to the people what they are doing.
It seems, however, that this is another attempt from Occupation Forces to prevent the people from accessing their lands and to terrorize them. All the while, settlers are declaring that these lands are “Israeli lands” where new settlements should be built. In any case, this is a clear message from Occupation Forces that they have no intention to dismantle any completed sections of the Wall or give back the lands that were isolated behind it.
When the construction of the Wall started two years ago, it was clear that the Wall was designed to annex settlements, along with as much as possible of Palestinian lands — among the other Zionist goals that it aims to achieve. Thus, the Wall went many kilometers deep inside the West Bank in west Jenin, south Tulkarem and both north and south Qalqiliya — annexing large areas of land which reaches to 2% of the West Bank, and while also annexing settlements built on West Bank lands.
On June 30th, the Occupationâs high court âruled outâ 30 km of the Apartheid Wallâs path in the Northwest Jerusalem area, declaring that the Occupation military is not allowed to annex all Palestinians agricultural lands (which means that they can annex some), however, at the same time, the Occupation court agreed on the annexation of settlements. The Occupation leadership announced later that, in fact, they are not going to dismantle or change paths of already existing sections of the Wall. In addition, their desire to strategically use their high courtâs ruling to counter the ICJ ruling is clear: Occupation Forces want to find some kind of âjustificationâ in order to keep the already existing path of the Wall that their court will accept; such âjustificationâ can be seen in what is going on right now in Jayyus and Falamya. The Apartheid Wall here annexed more than ten thousand dunums from both villages in the process of annexing the settlement of Zufin and now Occupation Forces here are turning these isolated lands into a military training area. Under this pretense, Occupation Forces can tell their court that these lands cannot be given back to the people because they are necessary for âmilitary purposesâ or by using the settlers and settlements as another reason as to why they should not give back the lands to the two villages.
In actuality, it is very possible that a similar strategy will be used in many other villages to try and do the same thing where Occupation Forces are not willing to change the Wallâs path.