Friday, June 8, 2012

Palistinian Farmer spurns Israel’s cash offer, refuses to allow settlers on his land

Khalid Abdullah Yassin had a clear response for the Israeli government when it offered him a huge sum of money to lease from him the land upon which Israeli settlers had illegally built. He replied that the only compensation he would accept would be “your complete withdrawal from all Palestinian land.”

The high court is entirely complicit in Israel’s crimes, but its decision represents an internal contradiction to Israel’s attempt to combine the charade of a “democracy” with the continued ethnic cleansing, colonization and occupation of Palestine.

A farmer from Dura, a village near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Yassin owns no more than 11 acres of land. Yet this small patch of Palestine, and what happens to it over the coming weeks, could forecast Israel’s outright contempt and blatant disregard for not only international law, but also its own.

In 1995, the villagers of Dura — already living in the shadow of the Israeli settlement of Beit El — began to notice that settlers were regularly encroaching on their land. While at first the settlers built temporary structures in which to celebrate their various festivals, the structures began to take on a more permanent nature and severely disrupted the agricultural life of the village.

In response to this creeping colonization of their land, the villagers started to demonstrate, and it was during one of these demonstrations that a young man, Khair Abd al-Hafiz Qasim, was killed — becoming the first martyr of many of this particular form of resistance to Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing. More