Monday, July 9, 2007

Settlements

There is so much to write about; it is hard to focus on just one thing. But for this posting, I think I will focus more on settlements. Of course I knew about settlements before I came, but was completely unprepared for them to be simply everywhere. What does this mean practically and emotionally?

[Click on maps for larger image]

Practically, it isolates Palestinians from each other further-settlements work within the context of occupation to further land and water confiscation and to anchor the walls, military roads and continued checkpoints.


What I've seen, especially traveling with PMRS' mobile clinics, is that settlements really are everywhere. Some of them are these fancy pre-fab "neighborhood" looking creations, while others simply are heavily armed trailer parks.

Besides seeing them on almost every hilltop, we went to Il Khalil [Hebron] this weekend and saw settlements literally IN the Old City-the Palestinian quarters.

Attached is a picture of some of these outposts (they have the army netting on top of them). Most striking is the Israeli trailor settlements that were dropped ON TOP of the souk-the market. The vendor in the market showed me how they had to put chicken wire up to block out the trash thrown down from the settlers.


Another Palestinian young man took us to the top of his roof to show us the buildings that had been taken over. As we left, we saw a family of settlers (using what is now the settler-only road through the Old City)-a father, mother, baby in carriage and toddler-and the father was walking along the (now settler only) street with an automatic machine gun.

I don't know everything there is to know about settlements, and of course, many people reading or writing on this blog know a world more than I do about them, but I am taking it all in and trying to convey my absolute astonishment at their all pervasive presence. People better versed in it than I have documented the history and impacts of settlements (below); my job for now seems to be witnessing and having the privilege to work with PMRS' mental health program as they tackle the issue of settlements as one of the ills of the occupation.

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/factsheet/settlement.html

http://www.stopthewall.org/news/maps.shtml


3 comments:

talia Gad said...
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Amineh Ayyad said...
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Amineh Ayyad said...

Cindy, I agree with Talia. Your narratives shed light on details media sources choose not to report. Bearing witness to voices that are rarely heard is not an easy task to undertake. Also, the maps are very helpful. Thank you.