Thursday, August 5 2010 The Construction of Another Fence in Umm Al-Kheyr

On Thursday night we received an urgent call to come to Umm Al-Khayr.  Once again, the settlers of the Carmel settlement attempted to nibble away at the villagers’ land.  This time, they had begun construction of a concertina wire fence which could injure the village’s herds and children.  When we arrived, there were already many security forces: tens of soldiers, police, border police and representatives from the civil administration.  In addition, several settlers, security personnel from Carmel, a number of Israeli and international activists as well as Palestinian activists from the area.  The soldiers and police kept the settlers from approaching the villagers and the activists attempted to calm the the village residents.  When we arrived we heard that a short time before tempers were raised by the construction of the fence and stones were even thrown.  To our good fortune, activists arrived at the last minute and succeeded in dampening the flames.  The members of the civil administration decreed that the fence was unnecessary but decided with the security forces to freeze the situation (about 20 meters of fence was already constructed) and to think about how to construct such a fence so as not to endanger the village residents and their livestock.  It is possible to see in the photos how close Carmel has come to the village.  In the last few months, despite the settlement freeze, Carmel has continued to expand and new houses and buildings have been constructed.  Several of the settlement buildings are only meters away from the buildings and tents of the village, many of which at threatened by demolition orders.  The intention  is clear: to strangle the village and its residents, to keep from them the possibility of living and to expel them again.