October 14, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Urges State Department to Address Dispute in Wadi Foquin

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, and Congressman David Price, Senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, sent a letter alongside 20 of their colleagues requesting the State Department address the dispute in Wadi Foquin, an agricultural village of approximately 1,300 residents in the West Bank. 

The letter responds to concerns that the Israeli government could confiscate farmland to construct a road that would cut through th eastern portion of the village, isolating Wadi Foquin from Bethlehem, where the village’s produce is marketed. The lawmakers noted that the past several years, agricultural fields surrounding Wadi Foquin have been regularly contaminated by sewage runoff from nearby Israeli settlements, threatening the livelihood of the village’s Palestinian farmers. 

The lawmakers wrote, “We urge the State Department to support any such discussions that recognize the rights and claims of the Palestinian residents. We also request your assistance in working with the Israeli government to ensure that farmland is not confiscated in Wadi Foquin for the building of a road that would isolate part of the village and have detrimental impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the Palestinian residents.”

“The United States has traditionally played a constructive role as mediator and promoter of dialogue and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians,” the lawmakers continued. “That is why we urge you as part of the Biden administration’s commitment to making real improvements in the lives of the Palestinian people to include the village of Wadi Foquin in such efforts. We would further encourage U.S. State Department personnel to visit Wadi Foquin to directly observe the situation in order to help inform U.S. government efforts.”