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Twinning with Palestine

The Britain - Palestine Twinning Network - "promoting twinning and friendship links"

Activities for the network in 2011 include * Women's visit - March * Twinning Conference in Palestine - April * Visits to Palestine April and October * Conference in Liverpool - November.

Twinning Info. / Visit reports - Brighton to Tubas / Jordan Valley

www.brightonpalestine.org

June 2009 visit by Palestinians - Appeal

Two people from Brighton have just returned from Palestine - read their blog here.

Latest news from the Jordan Valley

The Brighton - Toubas Friendship and Solidarity Group launch meeting was held on the 15th May 2006.

Sussex University twins with Tubas University. The University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU) Council yesterday ratified the results of a referendum held from 31st May – 1st June on whether USSU should twin with the Tubas Study Centre of Al-Quds Open University in occupied Palestine, in which students voted overwhelmingly in support of the motion. Overall 759 students voted in favour of the motion, and only 107 against, with nearly a thousand students participating in the debate. More ...

This article summarises well the position in the Jordan Valley.

Palestinians in the Northern Jordan Valley completely caged-in

Latest News

The Jordan Valley Solidarity

BREAKING NEWS 25 market stalls devastated by Occupation troops in the Jordan Valley in one day

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

On Tuesday, 12 August, at least 25 market stalls owned by Palestinian farmers have been demolished by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the Jordan Valley.

Occupation soldiers went on rampage along Road 90 in the Jordan Valley. At 6:30 a.m., troops began to raid Palestinian vegetable shops established close to the villages of Bardala, 'Ein Al Beida, Marj Naje, Zubeidat and Jiftlik.

For many Palestinian farmers in the area, selling their produce on the road is one of the main sources of income in a region isolated from the areas inside the Green Line, the rest of the West Bank and Jordan by the Wall, checkpoints, trenches and closed military zones.

Palestinians were not allowed to remove tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and a variety of fruits from under the simple market stalls, put up to provide shelter from the burning mid-summer heat, before a bulldozer crushed them together with all the produce and equipment still inside. Later on, a crane loaded the wreckage onto a truck before heading for the next target. Whatever remained of the market stalls was being confiscated and carried away by the army.

In Zubeidat a market booth was set on fire. The Palestinian stall owners suffered severe economical damages.

UPDATE FROM THE JORDAN VALLEY SOLIDARITY www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org

August 2008

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Palestine * Jordan Valley * News ticker

The northern Jordan Valley looses yet more land to the Annexation Wall - Vegetable farm confiscated in Bardala

Sunday, 03 August 2008

Further land confiscations are being reported in Bardala in the northern Jordan Valley where the Occupation is enlarging the so called "buffer zone" along the Wall.

Read full article on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=29&Itemid=94

Palestine * Jordan Valley * Latest News

Settlement offensive: Maskiot only tip of the iceberg Friday, 01 August 2008

Major settlement expansion is threatening Palestinian existence in the Jordan Valley. While plans to establish a new settlement at the site of Maskiot in the northern Jordan Valley sparked international condemnation, the Occupation does not hesitate to fasten its grip on the affected area by simultaneously expanding and consolidating three existing nearby settlements.

Read full article on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=132&Itemid=94

Palestine * Jordan Valley * In pictures

PHOTOSTORY: Settlement expansion threatening Palestinian existence in the northern Jordan Valley

View pictures on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_rsgallery2&page=inline&id=247&Itemid=81

Palestine * Jordan Valley * News

Al-Farisiya still under threat - Update on the situation

On 4th June 2008, a injunction has been issued in Al Farisiya, a Palestinian hamlet in the Jordan Valley, announcing the demolition of the farmer's shacks, the dovecot and even the bathroom. Villagers were told that they had 5 days to leave after that the bulldozers would come to knock everything down...

The Israeli Army have not yet carried out the demolitions. On June 10, the people of Al-Farisiya tried to hand in a number of documents and maps proving their right to stay on their land and challenging the demolition case.

Read the full story on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=120&Itemid=94

Palestine * Jordan Valley * Reports

REPORT Developments in Israeli vegetable exports to European markets

A Jordan Valley Solidarity report aiming at providing an overview of recent data on Israeli vegetable exports to the EU.

The report examines trade relations between Israel and its main export partners in Europe (Germany, UK, Belgium and Italy), within the larger context of the European market as a whole. In addition to providing the latest figures on vegetable exports, the dynamics within the exporting season, and the general increase in Israeli exports to the EU and its member states, this paper highlights developments in Israel's trade deficit with some of its partners, explains the importance of the diamond trade, and presents statistics on flower exports into the EU.

Read the report on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=32&Itemid=97

Palestine * Jordan Valley * Boycott Carmel Agrexco

VIDEO: More 4 News report on settlement goods in UK supermarkets

THE POLITICS OF SHOPPING - ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENT PRODUCTS LABELLED AS "WEST BANK"

British supermarkets are selling goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories labelled as "West Bank" products. For many consumer the label implies, however that these goods were produced by Palestinian farmers.

As Caroline Lucas, British Green MEP states: "I think that if people knew that when they are buying something that said West Bank that in fact it might be from a settlement they may well want to avoid this kind of produce in order not to support that kind of land grabbing that kind of house destruction and everything else that goes with those occupations."

Watch the video on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=108

Palestine * Jordan Valley * Media Coverage

THE GUARDIAN - 'Illicit' settler food sold in UK stores Sunday, 06 July 2008

Supermarkets accused of duping customers with 'West Bank' produce grown in Israeli settlements

Food grown on illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is being sold in Britain, often to customers who assume they are buying goods from Palestinian-owned farms. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Somerfield have all admitted sourcing produce from Israeli-owned farms on Palestinian territory but claimed that labelling the goods 'origin: West Bank' gave enough information for the customer to make an informed choice.

Read full article on: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=96

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, April 4th, 2006

Since Friday 31st of March, Occupation Forces have completely sealed-in Palestinian communities in the northern Jordan Valley. No one has been allowed to enter or exit the area, resulting in the rotting of agricultural products and a total shut down in the cultural, social and economic activities of Palestinians living there.

Above: Agriculture in the Jordan Valley is threatened by the continuous siege over the area.

The measures come a few months after Occupation Forces started to implement the isolation of the Jordan Valley from the rest of the West Bank. Military checkpoints began prohibiting Palestinians without local residency status from the Valley. Moreover, the main checkpoint of Bardala has been closed for Palestinian exports, barring the farmers to deal with the areas in Palestine'48.

The plan to isolate the Jordan Valley has been developed to ensure the area is annexed into the territory the Occupation wants to consider as within its "final borders”. Since last Friday it has become apparent that the "isolation” threatens the livelihoods of Palestinians here, catalysing their exile and creating the conditions by which the Occupation can cleanse the land for the expansion of Zionist settlements.

Since the Occupation Forces began to tighten their grip on the Valley, the only way to pass to or from the area with the West Bank has been through two checkpoints - al Hamra and Tayaseer. These are now completely closed for Palestinians. Many of the institutions that serve the area and provide people with employment are outside the Jordan Valley, mostly in the areas of Tubas and Tayaseer. Thus the lives of hundreds of people have become paralysed. Teachers and students cannot reach their schools and universities; workers and employees are cut off from their jobs, whilst sick or injured persons have been unable to access hospitals. Food shortages are expected to threaten the villagers in the coming days.

The sealing-off of the area signals a disaster for farming communities and Palestinian agriculture. People living in the northern Jordan Valley base their livelihoods almost completely from agricultural production. They are now cut-off from markets in the West Bank, such as Tobas, Nablus and Jenin. Huge amounts of agricultural products have already been wasted. Since the closing of the Bardala checkpoint, agricultural export had partially been exported to the '48 under with much difficulty from Jenin or Qalqiliya districts. Now, any kind of agricultural marketing has become impossible.

The plans of the Occupation are clear: Palestinian existence in the Jordan Valley is to be made impossible in order to colonize and annex the area. With high-ranking members in the Occupation preparing to impose their "final borders” upon Palestinian land, the developments in the Valley reveal the ground being prepared for the latest round of Zionist expansion.

An example of an Apartheid barrier - this is a trench to deny Palestinians access to their lands in the Jordan Valley.

More about the Jordan Valley

***Building a school, building resistance***

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SCHOOL BUILDING IN FASAYIL (FASA'IL) STARTING FROM SEPTEMBER 2nd, 2007 If you want to participate in the building work and provide solidarity for the villagers should the

Occupation army take action against the building, please contact Fathy Khdeirat, the Jordan Valley Coordinator of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign

fathy@stopthewall.org

0599352266

0509352266 *************************

On September 1st, the first bricks have been laid for a new school for the Palestinian village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley. The villagers hope to provide an education for the young people of the village, but the project is also a statement of defiance.

The new school is part of the Education Not Occupation initiative, launched by the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and the Fasayil village committee as part of the “Save the Jordan Valley” campaign, supported bay Brighton Tubas group. The villagers are building the school in the traditional way using skills transmitted over generations, with bricks prepared from mud and straw. People in the Jordan Valley have built their homes in this way since the times of the Canaanites.

Construction work in the Occupied Palestinian Territories requires a permit from the Occupation authorities, and since the occupation had been extended to the West Bank in 1967 not one has been granted. In Fasayil the majority of villagers live in shacks or tents while the ten homes built without permission are currently slated for demolition, twenty have already been demolished. Even electricity pylons are scheduled for demolition by the military.  

Fasayil has not had a school for the last 40 years. Israeli restrictions prevent the villagers from building one. As a result, the majority children in Fasayil do not go to school. Many of the village children work for the Israeli agricultural company, Carmel Agrexco, who farm land stolen from the village since 1967. The villagers of Fasayil live in dire poverty because of the Israeli military restrictions aimed at destroying their livelihoods and pushing them out of the area. The story of Fasayil is typical for the situation Palestinian villages are facing since the Jordan Valley was illegally occupied by Israel in 1967. After the 1994 Oslo Accords, just 135 km2 was posed under Palestinian administrative control: 6% of the land. On the remaining 94% (2265 km2) completely controlled by the Occupation, there are 36 illegal Israeli settlements occupying 1200 km2; and 1065 km2 of 'closed zones' covering the 'border line', military bases and natural reserves.

JOIN US IN BUILDING A SCHOOL FOR FASAYIL'S CHILDREN! Fathy Khdeirat,

Jordan Valley Coordinator of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and the Save the Jordan Valley Initiative

www.stothewall.org

Tubas group to visit Brighton

**Settlement Expansion and Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine: Jordan Valley Tour 2009**

From 12th to 19th June 2009 community representatives from the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine will be touring the UK and Europe.

If your organisation would like to meet members of the tour, or you would like to arrange a meeting in your area, please contact us as soon as possible, stating any dates or speakers that you would prefer. They will speak about: the impact of settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing on their own communities, how they are organising to resist it by bringing communities together, local building projects, direct action and legal challenges.

The tour is being hosted by:

Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group, which has been working with communities in Tubas and the Jordan Valley since May 2006

Jordan Valley Solidarity which is focussing attention on this largely forgotten area of the West Bank, building international support and supporting communities on the ground.

We will be highlighting the Israeli State's gradual annexation of the Jordan Valley (which is 28% of the West Bank) by expanding its illegal settlements and trying to drive Palestinians from their land through house demolitions, movement restrictions, curfews, arbitrary arrest and detention, land confiscations, denial of access to water, electricity, health and education.

The tour will be launched by a Day School on Sunday 14th June at the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton.

The provisional list of speakers for the tour is: **Abu Sakkr from Al Hadidiya: a stalwart of this small Bedouin Community that has been subjected to house demolitions, confiscation and destruction of their water tanks, threats and intimidation on a regular basis since 1997.

**Yusif Zbeidat, the Head Teacher of Fasayil Community School: Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group and the local community in Upper Fasayil worked together, in direct defiance of Israel's refusal to allow Palestinians to build, renovate or repair any structures in this area. Through a combination of resilience and campaigning the community won their small battle, and the village children no longer have to walk to the next village to go to school. This has inspired other projects that are now developing in the Jordan Valley to rebuild demolished houses, build health clinics, and create children's playgrounds.

**Furik from Al Farisiya: Furik lives in yet another village that is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements and is under direct threat of extermination. He has spent most of his adult life working in Israeli settlements, on low wages with no basic employment rights.

**Fathe Kdirat: As co-ordinator of Jordan Valley Solidarity, Fathe has supported local communities in developing projects and works extensively with international organisations to break down the isolation of the Jordan

EMAIL TUBAS@BRIGHTONPALESTINE.ORG

PLEASE SEND CHEQUES TO TUBAS FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY GROUP C/O BPEC, Brighton Eco-Centre 39-41 Surrey Street Brighton East Sussex BN1 3PB

APPEAL

Palestinians of Al Farisiya under imminent threat of expulsion

Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group

Please take a couple of minutes to send an email, fax or text to support the villagers of Al Farisiya who are threatened with the complete destruction of their village. Below we have provided email addresses, fax numbers and phone numbers PLUS sample text.

If you only have a couple of minutes to spare SEND AN EMAIL NOW using our suggested text!

If you can spare 5 - 10 minutes send a text as well.

If you have a bit more time write your own letter using the background information we have provided.

Pass this information on to your friends. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

..."In 5 days we will knock everything down"**... www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_rsgallery2&page=inline&id=122&Itemid=81

On 4th June 2008, a injunction has been issued in Al Farisiya, a Palestinian hamlet in the Jordan Valley, announcing the demolition of the farmer's shacks, the chicken stall and even the bathroom. Villagers were told that they had 5 days to leave after that the bulldozers would come to knock everything down...

The Jordan Valley makes up 30% of the West Bank but the Occupation has already claimed 95% of the land and 98% of the water for military land and illegal settlements. They clearly aim to complete their slow and brutal ethnic cleansing of this area and annex the entire the entire Jordan Valley. Al Farisiya is one of many villages threatenened with extinction.

ACT NOW - for full information on what you can do go to: www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=106

URGENT CALLOUT – Funds needed to continue building Fasayil primary school

As many of you will know, the Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group are involved in a joint solidarity project to build a much needed school for the Palestinian village of Fasayil in the Jordan Valley Construction begun in the summer of 2007 in defiance of Israel's complete ban on house building in the area and the school is a physical manifestation of the Palestinian people's peaceful resistance to the occupation. On the 17th of October, Israel's 'Military Civil Administration' issued an injunction against the continued building of the school and unless the village apply for a permit by the 29th of December the school can be demolished. However, house permits are never issued in Fasayil as the land is designated as 'agricultural' by the Israeli authorities.

As the villagers were painfully aware of the likelihood of the school project being demolished already from the beginning, the shell of the building was built cheaply out of traditional materials such as mud and straw bricks so that the cost of rebuilding would not be too great. Unfortunately, the area was hit by heavy rain and strong winds in early December and this proved too much for the cheap structure and some of the walls were damaged as a result. However, the overall frame of the building is still intact. As the school has received quite a lot of attention since the injunction was issued, the villagers now feel more confident of the project's international support and have expressed a wish to rebuild the walls out of concrete. The approximate cost of this sturdier building iis around $5000 for materials and between $1000 and $4000 for labour cost, with these estimates:

Concrete walls: $2000 Roof for the second building: $1000

Concrete floor: $1000 Doorframes and windows: $1000

So far, the Brighton Tubas Group have contributed $2000 to cover the cost of the walls but we need help to raise the $7000 (or £3500) for the rest of the work plus the labour costs.

"We will build the school again and again", the people of Fasayil have stated. "They cannot destroy our determination to give proper education toour children". We are calling on everyone who want to help the villagers fight for their basic rights and support their stance against the Israeli occupation to fundraise for the school or donate individually to the school fund.

scobham at googlemail.com

How to donate:

You can put money directly into our bank account:

Account name: Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group Bank: Cooperative Bank, Po Box 250, Delf House, Southway, Skelmersdale WN8 6UT Sort code: 089299. Account No: 65263895. Cheques should be sent to: Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group C/o Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Brighton Peace and Environment Centre, 39-41 Surrey Street, Brighton BN1 3 PB. It is also possible to set up a regular standing order in support of the school. To set up a standing order please fill out the attached form noting clearly that the funds are for the Fasayil School project.

In Solidarity

Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group

Article in Tehran Times - 12th April 2008

www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=165975

Brighton delegation visits threatened Palestinian village

On Sunday April 6 a Brighton delegation arrived in the Palestinian village of Al Farsiya, on a sun-parched hillside in the Jordan Valley. They looked around to see a few large canvas tents, a wooden cowshed, a small chicken and dove coop, and a latrine made of tin and plastic. They then met local people trying to eke out a living, until very recently piping water from a nearby natural spring, and learned that their very existence is under threat.

Three weeks ago the Israeli Defense Force cut the pipes that bring water from the spring to the people, animals, and olive and palm trees. They confiscated the pipes, claiming that the water spring belongs to the state and the villagers cannot use it. They have also forbidden the villagers from building a concrete water tank to collect rainwater. Their only water source is now mobile water tanks, donated by Ma’an Development Centre, that they have to take 7 km away to fill with water, and water that has been used to wash dates in the nearby Israeli settlement. They cannot get enough water for themselves and their animals, and to water their runner beans, cucumbers and other crops.

Father of 13 children, Jassir, said: “I was born here and my father lived here for 50 years. We have documentation to prove we own the spring, but the Israeli Defense Force say we cannot use the water. They say that if we complain they will come with their bulldozers to demolish the place.”

On April 3, the villagers’ existence was further threatened by the imposition of demolition orders on two of the family tents, the cattle shed, the chicken and dove coop, and the latrine.

The Brighton visitors asked “Why?” and the locals pointed to the nearby Israeli settlements of Rotem to the south and Mahola to north -- two of many Israeli settlements that have taken over the vast majority of Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley since 1967. As the settlements gradually expand, the pressure on Palestinian communities to give up and leave is increased. Before Israel occupied the West bank in 1967 there were over 1000 residents in Al Farsiya -- now there are less than 200, but they are determined to stay. They have documentation confirming their legal rights to the land they live on, and plan to challenge the demolition orders in court.

Contact us

Events in 2011

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Women's Tour March 2011

Conference Palestine April 2011

Conference - Liverpool November 2011

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Would you like to visit Palestine? We regularly organise tours to Palestine. Book for the October 2010 tour now!

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You tube links

Brighton-Toubas delegation April 07

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Gallery

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The Israeli Apartheid wall "security barrier"

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Twinning Banner

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Zaytoun Olive Oil

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Getting there - Airlines activists use

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