Omar Said -Abu Mohammad- is a farmer from Qalqiliya, and a father of five. Omar's story is an example of how farmers in communities that have their lands isolated behind the Wall suffer to reach their lands.

Omar owns eight dunums of agricultural land to the north of Qalqiliya city, the land is mainly planted with olive trees, and is the family’s main source of income.

Omar's story starts with the building of Zufin settlement North West Qalqiliya city. At that time Occupation forces confiscated 3 dunums of his land for the settlement bypass road. When the Apartheid Wall was built around Qalqiliya city, Omar's land became trapped between the bypass road and the Wall.

Shortly thereafter, in October 2003, Occupation forces declared all lands behind the Wall as a “closed military area”, and imposed a permit system on the people who needed to reach their lands behind the Wall. Omar and his wife were given a permit to reach their lands, however, Omar was not able to get a permit for his car, and he and his wife are forced to walk 5 kms on foot to reach their fields.

On the process of applying for and getting permits from the Occupation municipality, Omar says that this was along and tiring procedure. Omar had difficulty getting the permit due to the number of the different documents the Occupation administration asks for, and the time and money preparing them required.

However, Omar’s main problem is the lack of permit for his car, and that he is forced to walk to his lands.

Omar says “we have to go through an isolated empty area that looks like a cemetery or a ghost town; it is surrounded by the fence of the Zufin settlement from the north and the ditches and barbed wire of the Qalqiliya Wall from the south.

Despite all of this, I kept going to my land,” says Omar. “But recently the Occupation forces and settlers released hundreds of wild boars in the fields isolated behind the Wall. One time the boars attacked me and my wife, I was able to fight them off and I killed one. On the way back the Occupation soldiers stopped us and told us that we should not be in these lands, I showed them my permit, but they did not care. They threatened us, saying the next time we are in the lands we will see wilder animals that eat human beings. When we reached our house, my wife was so scared that she swore she would not go to our lands again.

As for Omar, he says he would not be surprised if the Occupation forces do release wild animals to keep the people away from their lands.



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