The British government is to contribute £93,000 this year to monitor the growth of Israeli settlements
in the West Bank
. The gathering of this information, often difficult or dangerous work is conducted by Jewish lady Hagit Ofra and her settlement watch team. She is the Director of Peace Now.
Hagit Ofran, a down-to-earth former university student of Jewish history, uses a four-wheel drive vehicle, pocket-sized camera and a deep sense of mission in order to monitor the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank area captured during the 1967 Six Day War. Her findings translate into pressure on the Israeli government from abroad and within to stop further encroachment on Palestinian land.Read
Ms Ofran's official title is director of the settlement watch team of the Peace Now organisation. In practice, she is a spy operating in hostile territory, snooping, sniffing and piecing together snippets of intelligence to show how much illicit building is going on.
The British government is contributing £93,000 to the project this year.
Last Thursday, Ms Ofran spotted four new trailer homes on a hillside of the Alon settlement east of Jerusalem, structures that are in effect helping to fragment the heartland of a future Palestine.
She believes Israel must withdraw from the West Bank and stop occupying its more than two million Palestinians if it is to remain a state with a predominantly Jewish population and character.
She explains: I see myself first of all as Jewish and only then as an Israeli and it is very important to me how the Jewish state is acting.
If we want to hold all the land we must give the Palestinians full rights. So holding all the land means we will lose our independence as a Jewish people.
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