19 Palestinian farmers from a village near Qalqilia were wounded Thursday morning by Israeli troops as they tried to prevent bulldozers from uprooting their orchards.
Soldiers invaded the village of Amateen early Thursday morning, uprooting trees to clear land for the construction of the Separation Wall.Ã‚Â When hundreds of village residents confronted the military bulldozers, soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs at them.
Three residents were hit by rubber-coated metal bullets, and at least five others were treated by the Red Crescent Society for gas inhalation. A medical source at the Emergency Hospital in Qalqilia reported that dozens of resident suffered respiratory problem after inhaling gas fired by the troups.
Local sources said Israeli army bulldozers have uprooted around 1,000 olive trees in the past two days; the trees are the villagers’ main source of income.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is our only source of living,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Amateen famerÃ‚Â Abu Ahmad.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“IfÃ‚Â they take our land we will die. This is what they want.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The section of the wall to be built on AmateenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s land is two kilometers (1.3 miles) long and 100 meters (300 ft.) wide, including military roadways and trenches.Ã‚Â Altogether, the military will confiscate about 4,000Ã‚Â dunams (1,000 acres) of agricultural land from the village.
The wall will surround the nearby settlements of Qadumim, Emanuel, Qarneh Shamron and Jenat Hasharon
On Wednesday, Israeli Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz announced plans to change re-route the wall so that it will not include villages between the West Bank cities of Salfit and Nablus in the Israeli side of the wall.Ã‚Â
Israeli officials admitted earlier this week that plans for wall were not based solely on security considerations.