Join Us! IWPS Launches Wadi Qana Project
Dear Environmentalists, Activists, and Friends,
The International Women’s Peace Service is launching a new project to raise awareness and bring new faces to Wadi Qana.
Wadi Qana is a river valley located in the Salfit district of the West Bank, near the village of Deir Istiya. The valley serves as agricultural land, as well as a peaceful retreat and picnicking spot for visitors from all over Palestine.
Visitors here can take a leisurely stroll through lemon and orange orchards, or a day-long hike to visit Khirbet Shehadi, an abandoned village that’s built around the ruins of an ancient Roman wine press. Unfortunately, the Palestinian presence here is diminishing, as Israeli settlers have taken more and more interest in this piece of land.
Currently, nine Israeli settlements are built on the ridges surrounding Wadi Qana. The settlements themselves were built on stolen Palestinian land, forcing the small farming communities in the valley to relocate to Deir Istiya. Today the influence of the settlers is manifest in many different ways: olive trees are uprooted by the thousands, sewage run-off contaminates the natural water supply, and armed settlers can be seen hiking through privately owned Palestinian land. This year alone over 1,000 trees have been destroyed, and dozens of farmers have been harassed or threatened by settlers.
Despite this, the farmers of Wadi Qana are still striving to live, work, and relax on their land. For more information about the troubles in Wadi Qana, as well as the people who are actively resisting, visit the new Wadi Qana web page: WADI QANA, which goes live today.
The IWPS, which is based in Deir Istiya, has been a part of the fight against land theft and pollution in Wadi Qana for a decade. Today, we are asking you to help preserve this land, by viewing and sharing the new website for Wadi Qana (wadiqana.wix.com/salfit), or paying the valley a visit.
Your support is invaluable in this time, as settlements are being expanded, and thousands more olive trees have been marked for destruction. Increased Palestinian presence and public pressure has been a critical part of previous actions in Wadi Qana, such as the 2005 decision which barred settlements from pumping sewage above ground in the valley.
IWPS would be happy to respond to any questions, or to facilitate meetings for interested parties with local leaders and farmers from Deir Istiya.
International Women’s Peace Service
+972 (09) 251 4644
Deir Istiya, Salfit