Displacement a word that reflects the unfortunate reality waiting for Palestinians, this word shapes the living reality of suffering and pain. Abu Amar is living this reality, the summary of his life best paints the picture.

Some 300 meters away from the village Jayyus lives Abu Amar, Ali Abu Shareb, a Bedouin refugee from Bier Al Sabe’, to the south of occupied historical Palestine. His parents were forced out of Bier Al Sabe’ by the occupying Israeli forces in 1948, and went to many different places before settling finally in Jayyus where they felt comfortable and welcome.

***image2*** Ali is the youngest in his family; he is now 55years old, married and has six children living in an 80-meter² house made from zinc. Ali’s family has a simple way of living, with their animals consisting of goats, hens, rabbits, pigeons, and their Arabic horse, they have been able to maintain subsistence and “getting light from the moon or the small lantern” as Um Amar says.

People in Jayyus always wondered: Why do you live so far Abu Ali? The reason is that the house belongs to Abd Alazziz, Abu Ali’s older brother; Abed Alaziz built the house because he wanted to keep his goats in a place near the grazing fields in winter and spring. The house has a small well, but it is not connected to the electricity or water networks with Jayyus.

When Abd Alazziz saw that his brother could not afford to rent a house, he gave him this house, where Ali has been living for ten years now. Ali’s house has always been far from the rest of the village where all facilities are centered close to each other. Thus, it was far for the children to reach their schools, for the sick mother to go to the hospital and the father to get the needs of his family. The family insisted that they were able to handle the situation and that they would not consider leaving as it was not so terrible.

When the Wall’s construction commenced, the situation became increasingly intolerable. The Wall presented a devastating tragedy-- it separated Ali’s house from the rest of the village. Since October 2002, when work on the Wall began, the family started suffering; they were living the fear, experiencing the occupation soldiers invading their home each night “for security reasons”. In most cases, the family is not allowed to go to Jayyus and the children often have to be absent from school for days and sometimes for a whole week. This is in addition to the dust and dirt that the children have to breathe, hurting their lungs. Um Amar and her husband have to go in long roundabout ways in order to be able to buy basic things for their family. However, this was not the worst; their tragedy was completed with the completion of the Wall, which closed in on them and separated them entirely from the rest of the village.

On July 11th 2003, Um Amar was coming back after going to get some of her family’s needs in the village, she found her children standing outside scared and crying because the occupation soldiers completed a wall of razor wires separating their home from the village area. She was standing there watching her children who were separated from her by a stretch of wires 40 meters wide. Many hours passed with family waiting at the mercy of the occupation soldiers, which never came, so the children slept outside on the ground while waiting for their mother to find a way to reach them. With all the pain and alarm Um Amar was feeling, she went back to the village and walked through other villages for two hours before being able to reach her house.

How is this family supposed to keep living? Where will Abu Amar sell his products? Where are the children going to study? Where will their dreams grow?

The people in Jayyus empathized with Abu Amar’s family and we gathered some food for them--which we had to throw to them over the Wall.

However, the issue is much bigger, Abu Amar’s situation and that of the sixteen villages now isolated behind the Wall, reminds us of the past and relentless Israeli policies of stealing land and displacing the people, taking away every thing they own including their identity. It happened in 1948 and was repeated in 1967. Now we are going through the whole tragedy again.

For the world, the Wall looks like an obstacle in the way of “achieving peace, and the stability in the middle east”. But for us –the Palestinians- it is the red line, the one millionth, that Israel has violated in the name of “security reasons”, its best justification for stealing land and destroying human lives.

To see the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign poster map which shows Jayyus click here.


Select (Ctrl+A) and Copy (Ctrl+C)