Ibrahim Atmawi, 65 years old, from Azzun Atma, 12 km south of Qalqiliya, lives with his 13 person family in a small house no bigger than 200 square meters. In September of last year, the people of the village learned of the Occupation intention to build the Wall. Attached to the confiscation orders that were given to the villages south of Qalqiliya, a map showed the section of the Wall to be constructed in that area. According to the map, the Wall would isolate a cypress grove which is on 30 dunums of land, in addition to 100 dunums of olive trees, all of which belong to Ibrahim.

***image2***In conversations with Ibrahim, he described his anguish while experiencing the destruction of his land and his livelihood. He recalls one instance, when he went to his groves to participate in a demonstration against the Wall and the confiscation of his land. He describes that as he was approaching his grove, he started to pray, thinking of the realization that one day he would no longer be able to work in it. Last May, the Occupation bulldozers indeed came, and started destroying the land northeast of Azzun Atma, including Ibrahim’s groves that were cultivated with olive trees. In the early stages of the Wall’s construction, the bulldozers destroyed the southern part of Ibrahim’s land in Azzun Atma, near the settlement of Sha’are Tiqva. However, after settler demands that the Wall’s path be shifted to annex additional land for the settlement blocks and expansion, the Wall’s path was changed to the North, directly in the middle of Ibrahim’s land, confiscating more than 90% of it. Ibrahim was forced to watch all of his olive trees being uprooted and his eyes could not stand the sight. He physically could not bear to witness the loss of his land. After suffering a diabetic fit related to his despair over the destruction and loss of his land, Ibrahim lost 95% of his sight. While he still has very minimal vision, Ibrahim is now sick and disabled, unable to work.

The village of Azzun Atma is now a prison for its people, isolated from the rest of the West Bank. In addition, the village shared lands with the neighboring villages of Beit Amin and Sanniriya, to which access has now been severed by the Wall. All three communities had already lost land to the settlement Sha’are Tiqva which is only 750 meters from Sanniriya and boarders Azzun Atma and Beit Amin. The Apartheid Wall now surrounds the village on all sides and there is no exit or entrance, except for a single checkpoint. At the checkpoint, only people with the specific address of the village on their ID cards are allowed to enter, thereby locking in, and out, all others without the required “proof” of residency, crippling their freedom of movement and ability to live.



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