I’m glad to say that over the past week I have managed to avoid a second trip to the police station. However, due to my arrest, I have also not been able to visit the Saffa valley where landowners are still disallowed from being on their farms. The Israeli army is pretty serious about these farms being within “a closed military zone,” and not letting anyone on to the land.
Well, that is not entirely true. Some people do seem to be allowed to enter this area. On Tuesday night, Settlers from the Bat Ayn settlement that are trying to annex this piece of land entered one of the farms and set fire to around 70 olive trees. Recognizing that their trees were being burned, several Palestinians rushed to the area to extinguish the flames. Three of these Palestinians were placed under arrest by the Israeli army, again for being in a closed military zone. Yet no Settlers were arrested for trespassing or for arson.
If you’d like to follow the events occurring in this valley, or read more about the history of violence and crop destruction there, you can read up at: http://palestinesolidarityproject.org/category/saffa/.
If you’d like to know more about the Bat Ayn Settlement, their webpage can be found at http://www.bat-ayin.org/73023/About-Us. Quick Wikipedia research on their founding member and guide, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh is also informative, particularly under the section marked “Controversy.”