Jordan Valley

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Tzviya Sh., Rina Tz. (reporting) T.H

Visit to Fassail and Faresiya Encampments in the Palestinian Jordan Valley January 1, 2017

Visit to Fassail

The tent dwellers of Mid-Fassail have been suffering for several years now from the cruelty of the Civil Administration, that demolishes their encampments every years, sometimes several times a year. The latest demolition spree was in August 2016. It is hard to forget the shocking sights – the warped iron rods that had held up the tents being scattered all over the area, the torn tent flaps, electrical appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and remnants of furniture and property trampled by the bulldozer, torn and scattered in all directions.

We came to see Tahreer’s family. A netting has been spread over the ruins of their tent, covered by plastic sheets, that will not last in the rain. There is nowhere to cook, nowhere to store food. From the cinders of an open-air campfire we realized how they prepare their meal. A neighbors’ daughter brought over a pot of cooked food her mother had prepared for the family in distress. Hajjar’s husband works intermittently in one of the settlements (receiving daily wages of 60-70 shekels). Today he went to Ujja for medical treatment. She too has been suffering unidentified abdominal pain.

Hajjar’s family is extended – her husbands’ parents, her own children and the young family of her son all living together. Nearby are also her brother-in-law and his family. Two years ago, shortly after violent and cruel demolitions of property and all of their structures, Hajjar lost her husband in a traffic accident. Her son was badly wounded and remained disabled. Her 7-year old son suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. With all the pain and hardship, Hajjar and her family rise up from the ruins and attempt to reconstruct their home. We were warmly welcomed and graciously hosted, as if nothing had happened. We sat under the ficus tree and watched the children and the grandchild playing with great concentration and creativity with a game we brought them.

Visit at Faresiya – the Abu Mihsen family

This is an extended family of elderly parents, three married sons and their children. They make their living primarily from herding sheep, after the Israeli authorities have denied them irrigation water in various way (details in our report of December 29, 2016).
The security official of neighboring Rotem settlement has lately pestered the child herding the sheep and chased him and the flock away from the grazing area.

They showed us the solar energy system they received from the Palestine Authority about 3 years ago, which malfunctioned after a year, and they have not managed to repair it since – it costs a lot of money. Taayush volunteers visit the family and help it as much as they can.

One of the brothers has a disabled 7-year old daughter. We saw her first on our previous visit, and today I came with Tzviya who has dealt with Palestinian children suffering from serious health issues, to check out possibilities of help for the girl and her family.