One hundred fifty Palestinian women gathered at the Grand Mosque in Al
Khader, just to the southwest of Bethlehem City Sunday. The women
farmers were from the rural development organization, Agricultural
Several other farmers, residents, and organizational representatives joined in and together they walked through the town of Al Khader, past the school and to the site of major land confiscation for the Wall.
Farmers are losing crops, lands, and their livelihoods as Israeli bulldozers have destroyed 20,000 dunams of agricultural land in the town.
Foreigners also joined in to support the nonviolent demonstration, hoping to draw international attention to the Israeli administration preventing Bethlehem residents from selling their grapes in East Jerusalem. The trip between the two West Bank towns should take just 20 minutes, but is impossible with the Wall, checkpoints, and settlements.
Fadwa Khader, Director General for the Development of Rural Women, spoke during today's demonstration. She said that her organization helps women farmers in the countryside, pointing out that since its establishment in 2001 it has set up 85 branches in towns and villages throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Khader told the crowd of nonviolent Palestinian demonstrators, “These branches play an important role in womens participation in development, as well as bringing women into the forefront that adds to their chances in other sectors, such as when several women were elected in the municipal and legislative elections.”