While the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recently issued a statement opposing Israel`s settlement activity, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/un-council-oks-watered-down-statement-on-israel-settlements/ar-AA17JQgO settlement expansion and infrastructure development continue unabated on the ground. A prime example is the January 2023 announcement of land confiscation orders on 207 dunams (50 acres) of Palestinian land in the West Bank village of Wadi Foquin (Fukin).
(Photo above) shows illegal settlement of Betar Illit encroaching on the land of the Palestinian village of Wadi Foquin. Lower left photo shows hillside before expansion. Betar Illit is one of the largest settlements in the West Bank with a population of 60,000 and plans to expand to 100,000.
The land confiscation orders follow an announcement in 2021 to annex farm land in Wadi Foquin to build a road connecting existing Israeli highways for settlement infrastructure near the two villages of Wadi Foquin and Al-Jaba`a.
Congressional leaders sent a letter to the State Department in October 2021 urging actions to stop the land confiscation and road construction in Wadi Foquin. https://lee.house.gov/news/press-releases/congresswoman-barbara-lee-urges-state-department-to-address-dispute-in-wadi-foquin State Department officials visited the village on December 17, 2021 and filed reports. While this land has yet to be annexed, several other actions have taken place since that time impacting the residents of Wadi Foquin.
- On December 27, 2021 Israeli bulldozers demolished 45 olive trees
- On March 17, 2022 another 30 olive trees were demolished
- In May 2022, the Israeli military announced the annexation of 50 dunams (12 acres) for the State of Israel. A military sign was posted in September 2022 designating the location of the annexed land.
- On December 21, 2022 Israeli bulldozers demolished trees, crops, and agricultural properties on a single family farm on 55 dunams (14 acres) of land.
These accumulated actions reveal the planned expansion of settlements and development of their transportation infrastructure in the region. The total loss of land from the village due to the Armistice Line in 1949 and subsequent land confiscation orders account for 84% of the original area belonging to Wadi Foquin reducing the amount of land accessible to villagers for agricultural and housing from 3954 acres to only 642 acres.
Wadi Foquin is a microcosm of the larger systemic annexation of Palestinian land throughout the West Bank.
Help us protect land and life in Wadi Foquin and the West Bank.
We call on the State Department, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and President Joe Biden to end U.S. complicity in land destruction and annexation in Wadi Foquin and throughout the West Bank by stopping aid to the Israeli government until these actions are halted. Sign our petition now!
Michael, Janet, Austin, Naomi, Mike, Lee, Brenda, Linda, Emily, Jean, & Don