Sunday, January 3, 2010
Severely-restricted access to water is one of Israel's main weapons against the Jahalin nomads
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 3 January 2010
"....We are taken to a welded-shut filling station, where once bedouin farmers could take water for themselves and their animals, but which the Israeli water board decided to fence off with razor wire and permanently seal. As a result, the canal irrigation system that snakes alongside the main road is completely empty, its only function to act as monument to the oppressive sanctions put in place by an uncaring Israeli system.....
Nor are the tribe's children spared any of the suffering: once they were permitted to walk the quick route to school through a gap in the wall; now the army has intervened and forced them to take a miles-long detour via the motorway and the rocky hillside simply in order to attend classes. No one is allowed into the bedouin's enclave other than family members, thanks to another cruel twist of Israeli policy; neither are the farmers allowed to get their produce out to sell at market – resulting in an inevitable collapse in their economic fortunes.
CISP, Oxfam and their partners do all they can to remedy the nomads' plight, but they are fighting a losing battle, and everyone involves knows it: the NGO workers, the beleaguered bedouin, and most of all the Israeli authorities. The situation is part of a far-wider scheme to drive out those stubborn or foolhardy enough to think they can stand up to a system which desires ever more land and ever more resources for itself and its people.
The bedouin speak fiercely of their determination to never give in to the bullying tactics of their opponents, but how long they can actually hold out is anyone's guess."