Two recent pieces by leading Israeli journalist Amira Hass are worth reading.
“The year 2009 was the quietest for Israelis from the security point of view and the most violent for the Palestinians from the point of view of attacks by settlers in the West Bank.” Just as he was saying this – as an example of one of the absurdities that characterize the political situation – Palestinian Agriculture Minister Ismail Daiq received a phone call from the Jenin district to inform him that five artesian wells in the village of Daan had been destroyed that morning. One person was shot and wounded in the abdomen when he tried to lift the pump to save it from damage. This was not an attack by settlers but a raid by the army.
No statistics can express the emotional and social distress that accompanies every event and non-event, such as the incarceration of 1.5 million people inside the Gaza Strip or the fact that tens of thousands still have not been able to reconstruct homes that were damaged during the Israel Defense Forces offensive in the winter of 2008-2009. Even without asking, it is possible to know that the reason for the destruction of the wells in the Jenin district is that they were dug “without a permit.” But the sovereign that destroys is also the one that controls the water resources and decides on an unequal division of water between Palestinians and Israelis. The statistics do not include the practical difficulties that stem from this discrimination or the permanent insult it creates.
In 2009, Israel destroyed 225 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and uprooted 515 Palestinians from their homes, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported. Thousands more in Area C and in Jerusalem live in constant fear that their homes will be destroyed and they will be uprooted from their places of residence.
The Israel Defense Forces says it is using information on Israelis who demonstrate against the separation fence in a bid to deny them entry at nearby checkpoints. Israelis and others demonstrate every Friday at the villages of Bil’in and Na’alin.
A document was presented to a number of left-wing activists during the last three demonstrations. The activists were forbidden from crossing the Rantis checkpoint on their way to the two villages.
In the document entitled “Data of vehicles used by left-wing Israeli activists and anarchists to reach demonstrations in Na’alin and Bil’in,” registration numbers of 11 vehicles are listed.
The activists assume that the details were sent to the IDF by police who were present at recent demonstrations.