December 29, 2002
Israeli Army Tear Gases Farmers Resisting the Apartheid Wall In Jeyyus
Marie Campbell, retired UVic professor acting as a volunteer observer in the Occupied Territories, was part of a protest at Jeyyus, Palestine. Marie and a group of international observers walked at the front of a peaceful march organized by area farmers until they were stopped by the Israeli army and police forces. “We just sat down”, said Marie, “Then they tear gassed us. Small boys began throwing stones and the army returned fire”.
“This is a very peaceful group of farmers. We met last night and it was agreed that we show our resistance to the Wall in a nonviolent protest.” People from 12 villages surrounding Qalqilya gathered to hear speeches when the army tried to provoke them to react. “It’s really important for these people to resist peacefully, but the media seems only interested in reporting violence”.
These people have had title to their land since the British Mandate. The land is very fertile and there are aquifers. Settlements are encroaching on their farmland and now the “security wall” is taking a tremendous amount of land and cutting up the communities.
Marie Campbell who left Victoria on December 12 to be an international observer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), went through a training in nonviolence before being assigned to Qalqilya. International observers document and report back to their home communities what is actually happening in Palestine
Susan Clarke, Victoria Peace Coalition