The following are the words of Abu Tarek from Nazlat Issa.

The Wall isolates my house and other houses from Nazlat Issa. They left us a gate that we are allowed to use and they gave us permits saying that we are residents in the "seam zone". The gate, as with all gates, is sometimes easy to pass through and sometimes it is not. Only the settlers coming from settlements from the West Bank - and us - can use it. I work in Ramallah but I can not travel daily between Ramallah and Tulkarem so I rented a house in Ramallah. But my wife and children are in our house in Nazlat Issa. I want to be with my family but I cannot risk staying in Tulkarem and then one day they may decide to close the gate and I am not able to reach my work. If that happens repeatedly I may lose my job. I stay in Ramallah from Saturday to Wednesday and I go back home and stay with my family for two days.

My little girl is three and half years old, each time I want to go [from our isolated house] to Nazlat Issa, she wants to come with me but I can not take her because if they close the gate, she is a little girl and she cannot wait under the sun [for the gate to be reopened]. We are completely isolated here - we are trapped by the Wall from the east and the Green Line from the west. We cannot visit or be visited by our people. Those from Baqa Sharqiya can not visit us because they cannot use the gate, and we do not visit them a lot because of the gate. Baqa Gharbiya houses are only four meters away from our houses but we cannot go there: we have relatives there as well but since we have West Bank IDs and it is inside the Green Line, we cannot be in that area.

***image2***My brothers do not work any more, after we lost our commercial stores last summer when they demolished the entire market in Nazlat Issa [to build the Wall]. They cannot even go work inside the Green Line because [Occupation Forces] refuse to give them permits. My brother’s house was destroyed at that time too; it was on his wedding day. We are 70 people living in the eight isolated houses from Nazlat Issa behind the Wall, four houses belonging to my family were destroyed, including my brother's house, my cousin's and my parents' houses. They now share our houses with us. My brother and his wife move from one house to another (it is all our family's houses) but they cannot continue like this when they have children.

I work as an employee in the ministry of economics, my salary is not high. I have to pay for the rent for my house in Ramallah, in addition to the other expenses resulting from living there, so in fact, I am supporting two houses. Just before the end of each month I have to borrow money from my work or my friends.

My father owned 60 commercial stores in the now destroyed market; he used to rent them to merchants, their rents were a good source of income. We were able to build our houses from the money we made from these stores. All the stores are now destroyed. [Occupation Forces] built their Wall at our expense. All of us now, mainly my brothers who do not work, are now supporting themselves and their families by what they have saved: we also have a citrus grove, however, it is not helping a lot, with the low prices and marketing difficulties.

The Occupation Forces want us to leave our houses; some of their officers come and try to persuade us to leave, they come from time to time and offer us money to leave the houses. Until now they are using diplomatic methods, but we really think that it will not be much before they start using other methods to force us to leave. The least they can do - which will be disastrous for us - is close the gate, and prevent us from going through. We have nothing here, more than twenty of our children cross the gate everyday to reach their schools in Baqa Sharqiya, we do not have any health centers or clinics, my wife goes every twenty days to Baqa Sharqiya through the gate to take our 8 month old baby for vaccinations - we do not even have a grocery store, all our needs we get them from Baqa Sharqiya as we are not allowed to reach Baqa Gharbiya to get our needs from there.


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