***image1*** The Wall is located in front of me, all the time, as it is just 17 meters away from my home. Not one person in Qalqiliya feels the Wall as I do. It is always there, me and my family no longer see the sky, nor the sunset, nothing but a ten meter high concrete wall.

No one can imagine what I have been through.

In order to build the Wall, the Israeli Military destroyed all of my greenhouses and nurseries which I had on my 150 dunums, leaving me with only 20 dunums of land. In 2002, the Military began building the Wall, which they claim they are building on the Green Line. As the width of each block of the Wall is 1 meter it could be built on the Green Line, but instead they went deep inside our lands and inside the West Bank.

But, my personal story with the Occupation began much earlier, in 1996, when in the end of that year the Israeli Military came unannounced in order to make a new military patrol road that would cut through my land, confiscating lands and making much of my land difficult to access.

This barred me from working my lands in Qalqiliya, and I had no choice but to move my greenhouses to land that I owned in the near-by village of Habla where 80 of my 150 dunums were located. It was in 1998, two years later, that I finally had enough funds to move the greenhouses to my lands in Habla; but, last year, the Wall came and surrounded the entire village of Habla as well. The Wall in Habla is built on 18 dunums of my land, while the rest have been annexed to what Israel is already considering its own.

I told the head of the Israeli “Civil Administration,” when he came looking to buy my lands from me, “The land…the land, you keep talking and you lie. You told the world that you are building the Wall on the Green Line. If that were true, why are you telling me that you just want to rent my land for twenty years?!”

He wants me to sell my land; he wants me to go to hell.

***image3***He says that the land is not worth much because it is agricultural land; I told him that if the wheel of your child’s bicycle was damaged would you not be sad? So, what do you expect from somebody who is loosing 150 dunums of his land, land that I have worked on for so many years. Before my land was taken, I had 35 workers who have now lost their work with the building of the Wall; 70% of the people of Qalqiliya depend on agriculture for their living, and the remaining 30% depended on working in the Israeli areas. Most everyone in Qalqiliya has lost their work and source of income.

You know, before the Wall, Qalqiliya was the West Bank city most dependant upon agriculture.

The Israeli Military has come at three in the morning, ordering us to leave the house. They are doing this to make us leave our home once and for all, as they ask why we built our house next to the Wall, ignoring the fact that my house and my family have been here much before this wall was ever built.

Israel has already taken most of Qalqiliya’s lands in 1948; R’ananna, Kfar Saba and Hertzlia were built on Qalqiliya lands. In 1948 Israel took much of my grandfather’s lands to build its state and then, in 1967, they took my father’s lands, and now they want me to sell my land!

Since most of my 150 dunums of lands have been taken, I have sold my parents’ house, the home in which I was raised, and gave away all of my childhood memories in order to save the twenty dunums they have left me as the cost to move my greenhouses and nurseries have been a huge burden. But, they made sure that I could not succeed in safeguarding the little that remained: I am not allowed to sell my products in Gaza, or in Jordan, because my car, as all West Banker ID holders, are forbidden to travel on the roads between the West Bank and Gaza, or to travel to Jordan. An Israeli, on the other hand, can take his products and sell them in Qatar and Jordan and elsewhere. To whom am I supposed to sell my products?! To Palestinians in the West Bank who are having their houses demolished and lands destroyed?!


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