onsdag 27. oktober 2010

Witnessing outpost extension

As we were nearly a full team on Monday - only one team member was away - we decided to stay in Yanoun and go on family visits.

The four of us walked up to Latifah. She had visits from her son, who also lives in Yanoun, and a grandchild from Jordan with wife and their little son, Samir. We were greeted with big smiles of welcome and served tea and coffee on their terrace. From this terrace we have a good view of the illegal settler outpost  to the settlement of Itamar on the eastern hill of Yanoun.

Some background information -Settlement outposts are small settlements constructed throughout the West Bank since the mid 1990's in violation of Israeli law. As with all Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, the outposts are illegal also under international humanitarian law.

This day, as also the day before, there was much activity on the hilltop. A big truck carrying a caravan was slowly working its way up the (illegally made) road on the hillside. We watched through our binoculars and took several pictures. After a while the caravan was unloaded next to another one - and the settlers had expanded "their" territory with yet another building.

Preparing the ground for a new caravan?

A truckload of caravan
Unloading the caravan
We were quite upset by what we were witnessing - the cruelty of this land-grabbing that we have seen so much of since we came here. The family members, though, were chatting along and seemed not to take any notice. They were more engaged in little Samir and what was going on on the terrace. Did they not care anymore? Or is this an everyday event that they have become so used to?

Itamar settlement from a distance

Itamar close up
I ask myself every day; how can Israel justify this policy of land confiscations and continuous settlement building? Do they really want peace? Is it really possible to create a viable Palestinian state when the settlements are spread like islands all over the West Bank?

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