In Ar Ras village, south of Tulkarem, Occupation Forces have refused all applications for the permits that villagers are forced to use to access their land which has been isolated by the Apartheid Wall.
***image2***This comes at a vital time when farmers are preparing to plant ahead of the spring season, when the land is planted with wheat, hops and animal fodder for goats. These animals have become the main source of income for the people of Ar Ras after the Wall isolated all of the villageâs lands – 8000 dunums of agricultural fields.
Around 50 farmers applied to renew their permits, but all were refused. The last permits were issued during the autumn olive harvest season and lasted for only three months.
The mayor of Ar Ras said, âThe Occupation Forces are putting conditions on the farmers that are impossible to comply with and are prohibitively expensive. Every farmer has to submit a map for his land on which the Wallâs path is shown. This needs a map-maker and is very costly. Every farmer also has to submit two applications with their land ownership title, including the original, and they say it must be issued after 2005 and must bear the name of the owner. This is very dangerous because most of the owners that are officially registered have now died, and it means that their heirs lose their right to access to the land.â
âThe families of the deceased didnât officially state the inheritance but simply followed the rules of our own traditions. The Occupation knows this and uses this to expel our people from our land in order to annex it to Salaâit settlement. This settlement was already erected on our own and our neighborsâ land.â