Peace Workers / Palestinians to Repair Water Wells Under Fire

On July 11, 21 peace workers including 6 New Yorkers planned to escort 6
Palestinian repair workers to the two main wells that serve the following
Palestinian 5 municipalities: Nusierat , Al Burage, Al Maghazi, Zawaida and Beer Al Balah.
"This is a concrete example among many of people being denied access to the basic human right of adequate water."

2002.07.10

On July 11, 21 peace workers including 6 New Yorkers planned to escort 6
Palestinian repair workers to the two main wells that serve the following
Palestinian 5 municipalities: Nusierat (60,000 inhabitants), Al Burage
(35,000), Al Maghazi (23,000), Zawaida (15,000) and Beer Al Balah (25,000).

The wells were damaged 15 months ago by Israeli tanks.

Palestinian workers
from the local municipalities have since attempted to repair the wells and
have been shot at repeatedly.

The wells are 6 meters from the fence that encloses the Israeli settlement
of the Net Sarim.

The wells not only provide the majority of the water for
the middle area of Gaza (2000 cubic meters of water per day per well), but
provide the best water available.

Of the peace workers preparing to go to the well, 2 are from Japan, 3 from
Denmark, 3 from the UK, 2 are from Puerto Rico and 11 are from the United
States, including the following six New York City residents: Kevin D’amato,
Amy Laura Cahn, Julie Hey, Will Weikart, Freddie Marraro, and Juan Castañas.

The internationals have spent the last eight days attempting to contact
Israeli officials in a vain attempt to utilize the proper administrative
channels to secure permission to make the repairs without the threat of
Israeli firepower.

However, they have found that there is no structure in
place to get Israeli permission for the repairs.

Amy Laura Cahn, a Jewish American woman from New York explained:

"Last week, as our first tactic in a campaign to address the problem of the well,
11 of us walked into the entrance of Net Sarim, our passports and hands
held high. We informed the soldiers that our plan was to escort the workers
to the broken well, and asked for them to guarantee the workers’ safety.
They refused, and would not give us their names or the names of any of
their commanding officers.

"This is a concrete example among many of people being denied access to the
basic human right of adequate water.

"We hope to use our
status as international observers to shield the repair workers from harm so
that they can restore their communities’ access to safe and adequate
drinking water."

FOR INTERVIEWS CALL:

Amy Laura Cahn – 011 972 56 383 263 (English)
Gerrick Ruiz – 011 972 56 391 548 (English)
Freddie Marrero – 011 972 67 497 382 (English/ Spanish)
Ryo Noda – 011 972 67 490 642 (Japanese)

Author: Amanda Ream

News Service: latino_humanists: Digest Number 461

URL: http://www.palsolidarity.org/