Khalat Makhoul, Duma: Seeing up close what occupation inflicts on the occupied
Following talks with Bourhan and our desire to support him in troubled times we packed the car as full as we could and drove down to the Palestinian Jordan Valley.
The first rain fell there a day before we came. Perhaps it’s a good omen. And perhaps not. At any rate, the rain continued all morning and the dry soil of the region filled with cheer.
We met a shepherd on our way down to the valley, his sheep munching the remaining green leaves on a bush and he yearning for a cigarette. The long road (508) was totally empty all the way and was filled with this misunderstanding – why are people being evicted from their own land? What meanness, what impunity.
Further down, we were captivated by the charming colors of the desert, the brown and green fields and the blue sky and the clouds skittering amidst the hills.
Until we got to Bourham’s encampment. The sadness and concern on his face are heart rending. As yes, he was helped, and the case of his herd was examined by laboratories in both Palestine and Israel. But there are no answers yet, and lambs are still dying, and thoughts of the future are heavy with worry.
Above all of this, the family is weighed by the authorities’ order for eviction and demolition of their home. Constant and threatening. Now more than ever.
Words cannot describe the pain.
We visited this lovely village overlooking the Palestinian Jordan Valley. At Miassa and Naim’s grocery sitting for a while is enjoyable. They are friendly hosts. And after the greetings, we speak about life. And there’s nothing to do about the situation. Everywhere, with every person you meet, you hear of the martyr after whom the son is named, or the person who fell and was injured while working a construction site in Israel, or a farmer who grazed his cow on his land and soldiers or settler-colonists came and chased him away and took his cow to God knows where, and then he had to pay ransom for it (about 1000 shekels!). And there’s one who innocently drove his vehicle loaded with chickens, and was shot by settler-colonists or the army and he escaped his vehicle and ran for his life. One of the granddaughters of the grocers we met is named Palestine – this too is a way to preserve hope and make the statement that they will never forget.
Like the old saying that “it takes a whole village to raise a child”, it takes a law firm, a human rights organization, social security to maintain a Palestinian family. God is great.
It also takes incredible patience. We Israelis would never have survived this.