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Open the Al-Bweira Road

A campaign initiated by the Palestinian Rights Committee of Upper Hudson Peace Action and endorsed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation - 2010

Background

The Israeli Army has triple blockaded the main road leading into the Hebron area farming community of Al-Bweira for ten years. As with so many closures, the claim of necessity in order to protect a settlement does not ring true. The main entrance to the neighboring illegal settlement of Harsina is about 100 meters distant and is almost always open. Could the real reason for the triple blockade be to make life so difficult for the Palestinian families living there that they leave? The Al-Bweira farmland is rich and beautiful. Many of the settlers in Harsina would like to expand their settlement by taking over the fertile farms of Al-Bweira.

The blockade

Attempt to enter the one-lane, main road connecting the farming community of Al-Bweira to the city of Hebron and you find your way blocked by a large metal gate. Get out of your vehicle, make your way around the gate, walk up the road a short distance and a huge boulder blocks the road. Go around the boulder, walk a little further and you come to an earth mound more than a yard high blocking the road.

Effects of the blockade

This three-part blockade forces Al-Bweira families to drive miles out of their way over rough, rutted roads to get to the city or to bring their crops to market. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles -- as well as merchants bringing needed supplies -- face the same difficult, time-consuming detours.

Because a significant stretch of the Al-Bweira road borders the illegal settlement of Harsina and its outpost (served by a separate road system), Al-Bweira children walking to and from school are subject to stoning and other forms of harassment by Israeli settlers.

The blockade and the separation it engenders make it difficult for those outside the neighborhood to respond to incidents of settler violence. By virtually cutting Al-Bweira off from the eyes of the city of Hebron, the blockades also facilitate the efforts of settlers to expand their illegal settlement by establishing illegal outposts on the Al-Bweira hills.

Campaign goals

The objective of the Open the Al-Bweira Road Campaign is to persuade the Israeli military/government to remove the gate, boulder and earth mound blockades from the Al-Bweira Road so that: the farm families in Al-Bweira can enter and leave the neighborhood without having to drive over miles of rough, rutted, time-consuming and costly detours, ambulances and other emergency vehicles are no longer delayed by these same detours and so the eyes of Hebron can see the neighborhood more easily and hinder settler harassment and the theft of Palestinian farm land.