Monday, December 15, 2008

Bob the Settler

As part of the so called Israeli Exposure Week we had an opportunity to visit Efrat, a Jewish settlement, and talk to its PR Person, Robert Lang. The meeting provoked lots of emotions as settlements are a big obstacle for peace and we as observers face settler violence towards Palestinians and international peace activists especially in Hebron.

For those who don't know, settlements are Jewish communities inside the West Bank or in other words in the oPt (occupied Palestinian territories). They are illegal under international law (IV Geneva Convention). Additionally 40% of settlements are built on private Palestinian land, meaning that they are also illegal under Israeli law. Israeli government however in majority of cases gives them green light. Robert Lang however disagrees with international law saying that "United Nations is not friendly to Israel". He also says: "Settlements are not obstacles for peace, they are bridges to peace because peace is living next to each other". Well, this is not what we see in our experience: roads only for settlers, settlers stealing Palestinian land, settler attacks on Palestinians...

"21 December 2008 / 1800H, Israeli settlers from Efrata settlement uprooted approximately 150 fruitful trees belonging to Palestinians from Artas village, south of Bethlehem. "

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