Ramadan owns a house and land in the area between Sammu and Dhahriya in the southern part of the Hebron district. He began purchasing the land before 1948 and has continued to expand—today he owns almost 420 dunums*. However, currently Ramadan’s land and home, and his life’s work, are threatened by the expansion of the Israeli settlements Shim’a to the south and Otni’el to the north. Further, if the Wall is to be built as projected, Ramadan’s land will be isolated into an enclave between the two settlements and cut-off from Hebron and the entire West Bank.

***image2***On a daily basis, Ramadan has to face to the settlers’ assaults against his family and property which are directed at forcing him to leave the area. Last July, the settlers tried to destroy his house—they took a bulldozer and ravaged parts of the house. Ramadan has not attempted to fix the damage as he fears they will come again to destroy his home. In September of this year the settlers, accompanied by the Occupation soldiers, arrived with a bulldozer and buried the well of Ramadan’s family with rocks and destroyed car pieces. He and his family were cleaning the well which they built many years ago to provide water to more than fifty people who live in the house and land as well as to irrigate plants and give water to their goats. While the settlers destroyed the well the soldiers arrested Ramadan’s sons and took them to an unknown area where they were released late into the night, ensuring they boys would have a difficult time in finding their way home.

Ramadan went to the police station in the settlement of Qiryat Arba’ to report the settlers’ latest assault. “The officer told me we’ve got your case,” Ramadan calls, “Go report what happened to Zion (the Occupation Civil Administration office in the settlement Hagai) and then come back.” Describing the trip he made to Zion, Ramadan said “ I waited for hours at the entrance of the settlement, soldiers would come and ask for the reason why I am standing there. When I told them they would order me to wait and said they would let me in after a few minutes. But they would leave for hours, many times we went in the morning and we are not allowed in until the evening. They are doing this on purpose so Palestinians will not report about the settler’s assaults on us.”

However, even if someone is able to meet an officer to report about the settlers’ assaults, he will be given some 200 pictures of suspects between the settlers, all of similar appearances, and be asked to recognize the aggressor; if one is not able to identify someone the complaint will be canceled.

“To whom can I complain?” asks Ramadan, “They want us to leave, I bought the land to live on, and we have nothing else. I have no other place to live-- we don’t want anything, we only want them to leave us alone.”


* 1 dunum= 1/4 acre = 1,000 sq meters


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