South Hebron Hills, Susiya, Mon 20.5.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
The torments of Khader al-Amur – one man who represents many others. But also a glimmer of hope.
I drove to meet Khader; 70 of his olive trees were mutilated two weeks ago by Jewish terrorists.
Why did I go? Because today at the Tarqumiyya crossing they also confiscated his work permit, and I wanted to get him to sign a power of attorney for Silvia so she could try to have it returned.
I also spoke to Hanna Barag, who’ll also try to find out why the permit was suddenly confiscated.
Why are they preventing him from working, in addition to all his other troubles?
A Jewish terror victim would probably receive help, support, compensation, etc. But Khader? Who cares about Khader?
So we met when he returned from Tarqumiyya without his work permit.
In addition to signing the power of attorney he said they might have confiscated the permit because of an incident that occurred 20 days before the trees were cut down.
What happened? One night a family living a few hundred meters from his olive grove [we know their name] stole water. A long pipe connected to the Meqorot water supply point brought water to that family’s holding tank.
Unfortunately, the pipe began leaking at a spot adjoining Khader’s grove.
Personnel from the Civil Administration, the police and the army accused him of sabotage and theft.
Khader showed them the pipe and asked them to follow it with him to see who really stole the water. The policeman said: “I can’t go in there; who’ll protect me?” They took him to the Kiryat Arba police station. He was there for 8 hours, an investigation file was opened and he was released with a NIS 500 bond.
The family causing his troubles confirmed to him they’d stolen the water, visited him twice and offered whatever financial help he needed. But no one did what the police and army should have done.
So now, no olives and no work. Why? Because in the struggle for survival forced on the Palestinians they injure each other and we, who are responsible for their fate, don’t enforce the law there, neither for Jews nor for Palestinians. It’s easier instead to create an appearance of law enforcement and search for justice “under the street light.”
At Chana Barg’s suggestion, I contacted Rabbis for Human Rights. The head of their legal department told me that when an investigation file is opened the work permit is immediately confiscated.
She spoke to Khader; they’ll be in touch with him to provide the necessary help.
Silvia has already looked into the matter. It’s in fact because of the police file.
So, that’s it. A number of people are helping him. Let’s see how long it takes for the mills of justice to discover the truth, give the man back his livelihood and compensate him.
His plot of land is now pruned and clean. The tree stumps look good after being worked on by good people who came to help Khader.
Six more years will pass before he’ll again be able to pick his olives.
On our way to Zif junction we saw a group of Palestinian farmers, a tractor and… the army across the road, opposite the Susya settlement.
A., from “Combatants for Peace,” told us, with a mixture of joy and apprehension, that today they’d received for the first time permission to plow those 60 dunums after they weren’t allowed to reap the wheat they’d sown there. They called the army to protect them from the settlers, and the army came. “I’m going to call press photographers,” he says, “because I have a feeling that in another half hour we’ll be chased away.”
He drove off. We did also, hurrying to meet Khader.
On our return we were happy to see that, this time, everything was fine. They continued to work in the field, the army provided security, the settlers didn’t show up.
Everything’s fine, says A., smiling at us.
Did someone order them to obey the law? Or was it the massive presence of photographers from all the TV channels, and the ecumenicals [and Ezra Nawwi was also there, of course] which made the difference?