***image2***As Occupation bulldozers continue to devastate fields in South Bethlehem, the farmers in Jurat ash-Shama have stood up in defense of their livelihoods in spontaneous protests.
Occupation bulldozers have recently started uprooting wide tracts of land planted with grapes and olive trees belonging to the inhabitants of Jurat ash-Shama. These lands are the key source of income for the farmers. According to the village council, a large Occupation force consisting of soldiers and bulldozers attacked the south side of the village and began uprooting the trees that grow close to the colony of Efrata, built on Juat ash-ShamaÃ¢â¬â¢s land.
This latest attack was undertaken in order to complete the path of the Wall which extends from Beit Sahour in the east to the north of Bethlehem and from Beit Jala in the west until al-Khader and on to Beit Fajjar to the south of Bethlehem. Encompassing both Zionist colonies and illegally annexed Palestinian land, the Wall serves to Judaize Jerusalem while cutting Palestinians off from their livelihoods and their capital.
When the bulldozers rolled in, hundreds of farmers from the village rushed to their fields and protested the illegal confiscation of land by the occupation forces. The farmers refused to leave their land, blocking bulldozers and occupation forces. In retaliation, soldiers started to beat the farmers and to indiscriminately shoot tear gas into the crowd. Finally, in an act that characterizes the aggressive nature of the Occupation, the soldiers invaded Jurat ash-Shama to the last house.
The struggle of the farmers will continue. Village land does not exceeded 1300 dunums, and the Wall is to be constructed on 388 dunums and will isolate another 750 dunums. To exist is to resist.