Asmaa' Jaber Amed Blasmeh whose age is 72 years, lives in Al Sheab, a small community in Salfit area, since 54 years. That was when she was married to her husband Hajj Abu Hassan, who only few years earlier arrived there as a refugee from the destroyed village of Kafr Qare’a. Both went to Salfit to reside in the community of Al Sheab, where already other refugee families from the villages Salmah, Kafr Qare’a and Kafr Aana had found a space to live. The area in Al Izbat al Sheab that is owned by Hajj Abu Hassan and his wife Om Hassan is 7 acres of land. 30 Palestinian families, which moved there either as refugees or from nearby villages like Salfit and Bruqin, used to live in the area. Every family owned and planted between 10 to 25 acres of land, but most of the families left the area over time. Many reasons contributed to the exodus. The most important reason was the large scale seizure of the land by the occupation army and the settlers in order to establish what is known as the industrial zone of the new settlement expansion area of Ariel. Today, no one left in the community but Hajj Abu Hassan and his wife Om Hassan.

Both Om Hassan and Hajj Abu Hassan live a simple life. They depend on raising sheep and selling its meet and cheeses to the nearby villages of Salfit or village Farkha. Even water for their personal use has to be bought from the city of Salfit. Om Hassan until today bakes bread with her own hands. 

In 2004, the Israeli occupation forces surrounded the house and murdered their son, the Martyr Mohamed Blasmeh before their eyes. Their son was for 3 years wanted by the Israeli military. After his death, he left behind him a wife and a child; he left a bereaved mother and father behind.

Hajj Abu Hassan rejects to leave his house to move to his other son's house or to his other house in the city of Salfit, because leaving the area means that the occupation will build more factories in order to expand the industrial zone of Ariel on their land. When we asked him why he still adheres to this land, he answered: “I lived and grew up in this land, and this land is where my son was killed. I want to remain and die in the same place where my son Mohamed was killed.” Hajj Abu Hassan added that the settlers and the army of the Israeli occupation are waiting for his death in order to seize the remaining land.

Despite the complete lack of services necessary for a decent life - whether water, electricity or any other services - Hajj Abu Hassan and Om Hassan still hold on to the land, where the memories of their youth and struggle and of their martyred son Mohamed are alive.

 

To enhance their resistance in Izbet Al Sheab, the Stop the Wall has organized volunteer a work day for young Stop the Wall activists in Salfit area. During that day they have planted over 50 olive trees on the land of Izbet Al Sheab.

 

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