Israelis Render Farms Unreachable Al Bqe’a – Tubas Governorate
Violation: preventing farmers and herders from getting into their fields.
Location: Al Bqe’a – Tubas Governorate.
Date: August 14, 2011.
Perpetrators: the Israeli Occupation Army.
Since the beginning of July, 2011, the Israeli Occupation Army has been choking farmers and herders in Al Bqe’a, claiming that it is training ground and closed military zone. On August 14, 2011, Israeli troops started chasing farmers and orally warning them not to get close to the area or they will confiscate their cattle. Such a measure will have drastic effects on the locals who depend mostly on herding and farming in their living.
Obviously, the Israelis are trying to expel the Palestinians from their lands in order to use it for future colonial expansions. According to the veterinary Department in Tubas Governorate, the livestock in Tubas reached almost 15000 head in 2009. 85% of the herds are goats and sheep while the rest is bees, chicken, and cows. 75% of the area population depends on herding in their living whereas 25% depend on farming.
The livestock numbers has been rapidly decreasing since 2000; approximately, 25000 head has been lost due to the Israeli measures.
Reasons for the depletion of live stock:
Colonization extremely narrowed the herding areas, limiting them to less than 5000 dunums; one quarter of the total rangelands. In addition, the herding areas used to stretch to reach the Jordanian borders. However, four Israeli colonies that were established in and around Al Bqe’a in the 1970’s devoured most of the rangelands.
Military Zones and Training Grounds:
More than 5000 dunums of the rangeland areas were confiscated too be used for “military training grounds”.
These military zones gave the Israeli Army a justification to chase farmers out, confiscate their cattle, and even demolish their houses and property. Currently, there are three in-use military encampments (Roi, Pigut, and Samra) in the area in addition to number of not-in-use ones.
In 2000, the Israeli Authorities dug a trench in Al Bqe’a isolating more than 40000 dunums (out of a total of 60000) using the 2-km-long, 4-meters-wide, and 4-meters-deep trench.
The trench forced hundreds of families to immigrate and move to other parts of the West Bank; drastically affecting livestock in the area.
Al Bqe’a is located in Tubas, stretching from Tamoun town and reaching up to the Jordanian borders in the east. Its total area is around 60000 dunums. 8 residential gatherings are placed in the area, 6 of them are random ones. Most of the people there depend on herding in their livings.
The Land Research Center
The Land Research Center