|(Qalqilia) Mustafa Sabre|
|Tuesday, 03 April 2007|
Houses necessarily emptied upon construction of the Wall after being isolated from their towns are now inhabited only by birds. The Israeli administration destroyed thousands of trees while building the Wall, and displaced thousands more people. The houses have become a refuge for the birds without room to nest.
And in inhabited houses, window sills are graced with the delicately woven strands that create birds’ nests, while over 50,000 people are now crammed into a four kilometer cage.
The Qaliqilia District was home to an estimated 15,000 dunams of citrus, according to Directorate of Agriculture statistics. Just 4,000 dunams are left. An official source in the northwestern West Bank said, “The destructive policy of occupation adopted several methods to attack the agricultural infrastructure, including the physical destruction of trees, razing land, and confiscation for the settlements.”
Forty-five year old Ahmed Issa Daoud owns a house in Qalqilia. He is still there, and so are the birds. He said that he does not open the small bathroom window on which a “mother bird has created a nest for fear of disrupting her handiwork of straw.” He said that he is attempting to both “spare the feelings of that individual bird, and to keep the species from becoming extinct” as the natural habitat is destroyed. It is a lesser known fact than the political climate of the area that Palestine is a haven for birds.
Daoud told PNN that near his land on the other side of the Wall he watched hundreds of nests be destroyed along with 550 pear trees. “These nests on the window sills of the houses and inside those that are empty have become rampant since the occupation destroyed the real homes of the birds. Without the trees they haven’t anywhere else to go.”