The Latest From Palestine: Community Voices

***image1***We came to our lands on Sunday and Monday (March 7/8), and then I could not come again for two days as I was sick. We were a group of old women, but the minute we arrived to the lands and the soldiers saw us they stood in one line and they would not let us pass.

***image3***When somebody watches a tragic film for the first time, he feels surprised and sad, and when he watches the same film for the second time, he becomes less surprised and so on. However, the wall tragedy is a live one, its actions renewed daily, its pains and tears are real ones. In more than one and a half years watching the impacts of the wall, every time I visit a new location, or even the same location, I notice new horrible actions took place, as if I see or hear the story of the wall for the first time.

***image3***When somebody watches a tragic film for the first time, he feels surprised and sad, and when he watches the same film for the second time, he becomes less surprised and so on. However, the wall tragedy is a live one, its actions renewed daily, its pains and tears are real ones. In more than one and a half years watching the impacts of the wall, every time I visit a new location, or even the same location, I notice new horrible actions took place, as if I see or hear the story of the wall for the first time.

***image3***When somebody watches a tragic film for the first time, he feels surprised and sad, and when he watches the same film for the second time, he becomes less surprised and so on. However, the wall tragedy is a live one, its actions renewed daily, its pains and tears are real ones. In more than one and a half years watching the impacts of the wall, every time I visit a new location, or even the same location, I notice new horrible actions took place, as if I see or hear the story of the wall for the first time.

The following is a portion of a presentation/testimony given by Sharif Omar Khaled (Abu Azzam) at the symposium co-organized by PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign at The Hague on Saturday, February 21. The symposium, also referred to as the Popular Hearing, sought to provide a platform at The Hague for affected communities to make their struggle known worldwide.







The following is a portion of a presentation/testimony given by Sharif Omar Khaled (Abu Azzam) at the symposium co-organized by PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign at The Hague on Saturday, February 21. The symposium, also referred to as the Popular Hearing, sought to provide a platform at The Hague for affected communities to make their struggle known worldwide.







The following is a portion of a presentation/testimony given by Sharif Omar Khaled (Abu Azzam) at the symposium co-organized by PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign at The Hague on Saturday, February 21. The symposium, also referred to as the Popular Hearing, sought to provide a platform at The Hague for affected communities to make their struggle known worldwide.







In September, when construction for the Apartheid Wall began in Abu Dis, people living closest to the area of destruction for the Wall continuously resisted its ravaging work. The women and there children from three homes would arrive to the lands being confiscated each day and try to stop the bulldozers, sitting in front of the machines’ unyielding path. After the first time, the Occupation soldiers surrounded their homes in order to prevent the people from reaching their land.

In September, when construction for the Apartheid Wall began in Abu Dis, people living closest to the area of destruction for the Wall continuously resisted its ravaging work. The women and there children from three homes would arrive to the lands being confiscated each day and try to stop the bulldozers, sitting in front of the machines’ unyielding path. After the first time, the Occupation soldiers surrounded their homes in order to prevent the people from reaching their land.

In September, when construction for the Apartheid Wall began in Abu Dis, people living closest to the area of destruction for the Wall continuously resisted its ravaging work. The women and there children from three homes would arrive to the lands being confiscated each day and try to stop the bulldozers, sitting in front of the machines’ unyielding path. After the first time, the Occupation soldiers surrounded their homes in order to prevent the people from reaching their land.

Wafa is 25 years old and a teacher in the elementary school in Shuqba village. She tells the story about what happened when the bulldozers came to clear the land for the Wall’s path in Budrus.




Wafa is 25 years old and a teacher in the elementary school in Shuqba village. She tells the story about what happened when the bulldozers came to clear the land for the Wall’s path in Budrus.




Wafa is 25 years old and a teacher in the elementary school in Shuqba village. She tells the story about what happened when the bulldozers came to clear the land for the Wall’s path in Budrus.




Ibrahim Atmawi, 65 years old, from Azzun Atma, 12 km south of Qalqiliya, lives with his 13 person family in a small house no bigger than 200 square meters. In September of last year, the people of the village learned of the Occupation intention to build the Wall. Attached to the confiscation orders that were given to the villages south of Qalqiliya, a map showed the section of the Wall to be constructed in that area. According to the map, the Wall would isolate a cypress grove which is on 30 dunums of land, in addition to 100 dunums of olive trees, all of which belong to Ibrahim.

Ramadan owns a house and land in the area between Sammu and Dhahriya in the southern part of the Hebron district. He began purchasing the land before 1948 and has continued to expand—today he owns almost 420 dunums*. However, currently Ramadan’s land and home, and his life’s work, are threatened by the expansion of the Israeli settlements Shim’a to the south and Otni’el to the north. Further, if the Wall is to be built as projected, Ramadan’s land will be isolated into an enclave between the two settlements and cut-off from Hebron and the entire West Bank.




Hani Amer is 46 years old from Mas-ha village, in the northwest of Salfit district. Amer and his eight family members live in a 165m² house, from the western side of the house expands the Israeli settlement Elkana; now the Apartheid Wall is being built to pass from Amer’s house and land, under the pretext as one of the many things that threaten “Israel’s security”.




The 40-100 meter wide, 8-kilometer-long northern Jerusalem wall is designed to isolate the Palestinian community, not to encircle the city. About 800 dunums of land were confiscated from Palestinian owners to build that portion of the wall.



QALANDIA



Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, is a major checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The wall isolates 30,000 Palestinians in Kafr Aqab and Qalandiya who hold Jerusalem ID cards from the city as well as from family, workplaces, and social and public services.



Fatima Asaad










The Wall passes through land, destroying, expelling and uprooting all that is good and replacing it with hatred, increasing people’s suffering and further distancing justice from reality, damaging all that comes in its way, whether human, tree, or wildlife. Omar Izzat is one witness to what disaster and loss means.




My daughter studied for the tawjihi, the final high school examination, in Kifl Harith; she had to study in that village because she was in the scientific branch but with the Occupation’s closures and checkpoints she was constantly absent from school. This caused her to repeat her final year but this time she changed to the literary branch so she would not have to travel to Kifl Harith anymore. She is engaged, her fiancée worked for a few years in one of Arab states…he was arrested on the bridge from Jordan to Palestine and is now in one of the Occupation's prisons.




Displacement a word that reflects the unfortunate reality waiting for Palestinians, this word shapes the living reality of suffering and pain. Abu Amar is living this reality, the summary of his life best paints the picture.




***image1*** The Wall is located in front of me, all the time, as it is just 17 meters away from my home. Not one person in Qalqiliya feels the Wall as I do. It is always there, me and my family no longer see the sky, nor the sunset, nothing but a ten meter high concrete wall.



No one can imagine what I have been through.






***image1*** Abu Muhannad, a resident of Habla village, is a farmer who depends on his land and livestock to support his family of 11 individuals, most of who are children. The Wall around Habla isolates his home and land from the rest of the village, trapping his family in the area Israel looks to annex. Daily life for them is unbearably filled with military and armed patrols, bulldozers, and the uprooting of trees and razing of their lands. The family lives in constant fear for the fate of their land and their personal safety.




***image1***‘Abbas Khaled ‘Ali Yusef is a tradesman from Baqa ash Sharqiya who has lost two shops since the construction of the Wall began and the targeting of the commercial areas along the Green Line. His first shop, a seed and nut toaster for wholesale and retail food provision, was located five meters from the Israeli military checkpoint separating Baqa ash Sharqiya and Nazlat ‘Isa; both villages will be isolated between the Wall and the 1967 Green Line.

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