Standing in the Face of Oppression

Standing in the Face of Oppression
A face burnt by the burning sun of the desert, a stick to help him walk, a simple bed, he gathered his strength to stand up and greet us as it is the habit of Palestinian nomads, He seemed a bit shy, embarrassed of the simple layer, thinking that it is not stylish enough; but he tried to explain, saying that everyone here lives this way… so simple… Suleiman al Hathaleen, 60 years old,  he went through his ancestors till the seventh great grandparent, seemingly proud while introducing himself; he portrayed himself as the protector of the land with the help of Allah.
With a simple nomadic accent, he started talking, he wondered where to start; the arbitrary expulsion in 1948, the path of torment he, and his family treaded, but he preferred to be brief… he wanted to converse about the land they bought and took refuge in ‘Khirbit um al Kher’ nearby Hebron and being chased and violated on daily basis.
They call the colony ‘Al Kubbaniyya’; he went back to the 1980’s when a military encampment was established on the western part of Um al Kher; gradually, it was turned into a colony, a ‘Kubbaniyya’ as he named it. Karmael colony soon became a fact on the ground residing on over 4000 dunums of Palestinian lands.
He diverged from the theme, he started talking about politics, presenting events he lived and witnessed; he tried to prove that the Israeli Occupation ‘means justify ends’ policy rules. He mentioned the Israeli occupation treatment of Yasser Arafat by saying that ‘when they knew that he will not compromise or bargain, they simply poisoned him; they do whatever it takes to achieve their objectives’.
He kindly requested our patience while listening to his complaints; he started talking about the Israeli tent-demolition policy, as they reside in tents, in order to drive them out of their lands… ‘Since the establishment of the colony, Israel has been demolishing our tents and sheds while facing daily aggressions by the colonists’. He said. One of his sons suffered from an attack which caused him a permanent damage, rendering him disabled for the rest of his life.
The Israeli Occupation Authorities, Army, and colonists have been targeting the family for years while he consolidated his devotion and loyalty, his love to the land; he ensured that the aggressions that are made to suppress render him stronger. ‘Every time, I tell the enemy that you will take this land on my dead body; if it was not for your weapons, I would have chased you out with my stick’. He said.
 No entry…
The colonists took over a mountain steep by force; they planted it with olives and started the establishment of what seemed to be a park. They prohibited the Palestinians from reaching the area, forcing the herders to go around the mountain to get to the fields or their homes.
Once, a shepherd lost a sheep which went towards the olive trees and started eating the leaves; this ignited the colonists’ hatred and brutality. They ran in bundles, under the watchful eyes of the Israeli Occupation Army, towards the heard, hitting the sheep and killing one while shouting that this land is ‘theirs’ and the Palestinians are not allowed to get near it.
They placed a sign saying ‘no entry for cattle’. They attack herders and their cattle as soon as they approach the area. He said that the soldiers storm his habitat and ordered him not to let his cattle out of the barns. ‘My sheep are in the barn, I cannot take them out; fearing possible attack’. He said.
The stove…
He narrated the tale of the stove which the colonists use to justify their attacks on his family; the stove (Taboon in Arabic) is a traditional system for baking bread. The smoke spreading as a result of the stove flames move towards the colony and sets fire into the colonists rage then attacking us with stones, foul language, and spraying us with waste water. ‘We do not have any control over the wind, we cannot control nature; the colonists just look for an excuse’. ‘The Occupation has persecuted everything on this land; maybe it is time for them to persecute the wind which carries the smoke!!!’ he said.
We left with wishes of taking their story to the world, to the free world, human right’s activists, and every person who believes in the people’s right to live in dignity. However, these people suffering will not end as long as there is one Israeli colonist there. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are determined to remain strong and maintain their stance and continue their struggle.
Categories: Reports