Israel forbids recreation in besieged Palestinian village

The Israeli occupation authorities have issued an order for the closure of the only recreational park in the Palestinian village of Wadi Fuqeen park, which is sandwiched between the Apartheid Wall and the Jewish squatter colony of Beitar Illit.

According to a report by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency,

Israeli forces on Sunday [20 October] issued stop-work orders for a recreational park west of Bethlehem, a local official said.

Mayor of Wadi Fuqeen Ahmad Sukkar told Ma’an that the village council began constructing the park in cooperation with local organizations…

The stop-work order is the latest in a series of measures targeting the village, Sukkar said.

Over 2,500 acres of land have been confiscated from Wadi Fuqeen for surrounding Israeli settlements and several key roads leading to the village have been closed…

Meanwhile, a contact in the village has sent the following report to the UK-based Friends of Wadi Fuqeen:

Two days ago, Israeli authorities delivered a warning to the village of Wadi Fuqeen saying everyone must stop developing the park inside the village.

The park is the only one in village. People began building it a year ago with donations from several non-governmental organizations.

Villagers really appreciated having a nice place to sit outside and talk together, as well as get together for community activities. It does not compare with the many parks and open spaces in the nearby illegal settlement of Beitar Illit. It is very small and modest by comparison.

Then, last night, around 16 Israeli army jeeps and military vehicles came to the village and spread around everywhere. The soldiers stopped people, established a curfew, searched cars and set up many flying checkpoints. They stayed most of the night.

No one knows why this happened. Everyone is very scared.

The sewage outflows from Beitar Illit have recently been so bad that the running liquids can be heard from a distance. One villagers said: “It was like a river running down the hillsides and into the valley.”

Please could anyone with enough time on their hands write to their MPs [Members of Parliament] and MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] about all this?

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