Update during Corona: A new form of torture has just been discovered
I called S. to ask how he and his family were doing, and to explain our lengthy absence.
S. and his extended family live in Shushala and have tended their land there for generations. All the land on the hill where Nabi Danial maqam (sacred site) belongs to villagers of Al Khader and other communities. At present the land of Shushala is caught between settler-colony Naveh Daniel and its outpost Sdeh Boaz (the aim is to connect Naveh Daniel to the huge colony of Efrat).
S. is happy to talk and says that now, in times of Corona, every evening at around 5:30 p.m. about 5-6 Israeli soldiers come to the house and demand of the family to evacuate it. When the family members refuse, and the soldiers are told that “you don’t care about me…”, they collect all the IDs and say the owners will get them back at Al Khader. The entire family goes down to Al Khader and waits for hours, at least until 9 p.m., when the IDs are returned. Thus, they are forced to sleep in Al Khader and go back up the hill only the next day.
The hill, the one large and last reserve farmland left in Palestinian hands throughout the Etzyon Bloc, is located entirely within Area C. This means that the farmers are not allowed to stay there overnight nor possess dwellings there. These people have suffered many tricks and violence at the hands of the Israeli system – and here’s the latest.
S.’s son is a heart patient, and gets treatment alternately in Hebron and in Beit Jala hospitals.
The man promised to send us a photo of the farmland that has just recently been planted with vines.