Condolence visit to Deir al Assal (Tahta)

Galit A., Hagit B. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

Our hearts sank when we read this:  “The IDF shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to damage the fence in the Hebron region.  Published 19.3.14, 10:31.


A Palestinian youth was shot by the IDF near Deir al-Assal a-Taht, southwest of Hebron, as he was trying to damage the separation fence.  He was brought to Soroka hospital in Beersheba where he died from his wounds.

The IDF reported soldiers observed three Palestinians damaging the separation fence and initiated the procedure for apprehending suspects.

We came to extend our condolences.                   The bereaved father.


They told us the youth who had been killed was only 14, that there had been a hole in the fence for two years, that more than once soldiers had taken youths who’d been caught there back to their homes.  That all he wanted to do was pick tumble thistlesfor his mother to cook.


Deir al Assal is located in the western Hebron Hills, near the fence along Highway 358.


The family comes from an Arab village destroyed in the 1948 war.  180 dunums of their land had been confiscated.  After 1967 an addition 60 dunums were taken.  They had 60 dunums left, on the other side of the fence.  They’re allowed to cultivate their olive grove for three days during the year, and are given a week to harvest the crop.

The father is almost 70, has two wives and supports 20 children.  He had a commercial permit to enter Israel; one son had a permit to enter as a construction laborer.

After the three days of mourning they wanted to return to their work in Israel but their permits were confiscated at the Meitar crossing.  Not only must they mourn – now their livelihood has been taken away.  They’re “dangerous” – the itchy trigger finger, the hand that kills children rather than detaining them is impelled by hatred.  And, once again, all of us are guilty of this injustice.


Itai Mak, the attorney, was there yesterday.  He’ll try to get their permits restored (the chances aren’t good – the two are “dangerous”).  Gid’on Levy, the journalist from Ha’aretz, arrived after us.  Perhaps a broad public campaign might make a difference (I’m doubtful).


We left with very heavy hearts.