L’altro giorno sono andato a raccogliere le olive ad Al Walaja, villaggio palestinese poco distante da Betlemme.
Stanno costruendo il Muro, ad Al Walaja, e costruendolo imprigionano il villaggio (ad oggi, c’è una sola strada per arrivarci, e se c si mette una camionetta di soldati non si entra, e basta) e, in più, tagliano via i campi dalle case.
Questa è una storia, una delle migliaia, una delle più normali, una delle meno tristi, di quello che vuol dire il Muro, e di quello che vuol dire l’occupazione.
At about 5 am on 5 September, we woke up to the sound of heavy machinery. We went down to our fields to see what was happening, but our fields were surrounded by IDF soldiers, who initially wouldn’t let us through. We persisted, and they called the Israeli DCL; they finally allowed us to enter.
Of the 110 olive trees that we own, 60 trees were uprooted. In addition, 18 almond trees were also uprooted, as well as eight Hawthorn trees. About 27 non fruit-bearing trees (pine and oak) were also cut down.They were done with uprooting the trees by mid-morning, after which they tried to make me bring a tractor to take away theuprooted trees. But the land is difficult to get to, and I couldn’t comply immediately. They then began threatening me, sayingthat if I didn’t take the trees away myself, they would be taken and re-planted inside Israel, and that I would be detainedand fined. Honestly, I think the Israelis were embarrassed because there were a number of journalists watching. Finally theIsraeli authorities themselves delivered the uprooted trees to a more accessible area. I don’t think it’s worth replanting the
trees; it would probably take too many years to bear fruit. But I will replant one of the trees in our own garden as a symbol,so that my children and grandchildren never forget this day.
When the Wall is completed, about 20 dunums of our land will be on the other side. The land is actually in my wife’s name,and we have tax documents dating back to 1927 to prove that her family has owned the land for generations. However,because she suffers from chronic ailments, including kidney failure, diabetes and blindness, she is unable to go down to thefields, and would certainly be unable to work in the fields. Once the Wall is built, I don’t expect the Israelis to allow me toget to our fields. Right now, it looks like we will lose everything on the other side.
Mohammed Atrash (Abu Wajih), a 68-year-old farmer from Al Walaja, has been affected by Barrier construction activities that followed the HCJ decision this month.