Manal Tamimi: My Feelings About the Settlement of Halamish

by Manal Tamimi : 24 January 2013

translated Jo MacNiven and Annie Hasan

manals article on halamish

When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand anything in the world except for laughter, and playing games. I used to adore my small village that was of one family, united in its happiness and sorrows. I used to adore every inch of that land. I used to adore the season for the olive harvest and waking up early to prepare food for the entire day, since we were to spend our day picking. I adored getting up at 6 in the morning to go with our neighbor and his children to pick grapes and figs from his vineyard, for there is nothing in life which compares to the taste of grapes and figs in the early morning, coated with water from morning dew.  I adored going to the spring in the valley to pick wild mint during the winter to make mint pastries. There are no other pastries that even compare in taste to that of a mint pastry.

As I grew up, so grew my love for this land and the large passion for its soil, its trees, and its stones. I grew and so grew my worries as the settlers reached the heights of the mountain that stands before my house. It is the place that contains all my worries. I used to go there to scream, cry, laugh, and then sit under a carob tree and I would look at the valley with its water and wonderful green color. I would gaze at the hills on the opposite side covered in olive, grape and fig trees. Just looking and staring at that mountainous landscape, I would forget my worries and sorrows. It would gladden my chest as though it had been washed with soap and water, restoring me back to life and making me active again.

Today everything has changed. Our land had already been stolen and colonial Zionist settlements have been built upon it. I am no longer able to reach the vineyards and fig trees. They have now been taken by the settlements and we are prevented from going there…but even more than that, they have uprooted and taken down the grape vines and fig trees to keep them from us. They stole our olive orchards and have uprooted the olive trees, which have existed since Roman times (thousands of years). I believe they are trying to kill/destroy our roots from our lands and break our glory. The worst part is that they have planted new olive trees they claim began growing on their land, which they inherited from their forefathers. When I sit on the mountain and look out in front of me, I no longer see anything but hills which have been deformed, robbed of their beauty by the hideous white houses with red roofs. I look into the valley to see the color has turned from vibrant green to pale yellow as if the earth has also felt the disaster that affected us and killed it, so that these thieves can take full advantage of it. When I look at the water, which was once clear and brought back life, I see it has now turned to green as if it too was hit and turned into toxic water that kills anyone who drinks it…as if it now knows we can no longer reach it.

No one can reach it except the aggressive settlers.

Today, at the height of our struggle to recover our land, we drown in our sorrows after we have lost, in less than a year, two of the most precious and dearest of our youth while they were defending their land and their dignity, sacrificing their lives in the process. Now we have received breaking news that settlers are digging up more of the land and have placed/set up 50 trailers for 50 new homes in the settlement.

Fifty more homes means 50 more families who occupy our land.

Fifty more homes means more pain and suffering.

Despite the grief over the loss of land, despite the pain we feel from our separation from loved ones, despite the humiliation, we will stay loyal to our land, we shall hold to the land just as the olive tree spreads its roots deep into the ground. We will raise our issues/concerns/worries high and loud and we will scream with our loudest voices, so that the world can hear us.

We are here and here we will stay. For this is our land and no one will remove us from it.

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Illegal Israeli Settlers and Israeli Occupation Forces expand Halamish colony on Nabi Saleh land

Witnesses: Settlers, forces expand Halamish settlement

by Maan News: 24 January 2013

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Jewish settlers, accompanied by Israeli forces, on Tuesday began work expanding Halamish settlement in the central West Bank, witnesses said.

Settlers and Israeli forces arrived at dawn with trucks and bulldozers and set up 50 mobile homes on land belonging to Nabi Saleh, a village near Ramallah, witnesses told Ma’an.

Nabi Saleh is a center of popular resistance in the West Bank, and holds weekly demonstrations against the confiscation of its land and the takeover of its natural spring.

Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal under international law.

Nabi Saleh dedicates weekly demonstration to 16 year old Samir Amad killed in Budrus by Israeli Occupation Force

18 January 2013

Nabi Saleh on Friday, 18 January dedicated its weekly demonstration against Israel occupation and apartheid to martyr Samir Awad from Budrus, the 16 year old boy killed by the IOF earlier in the week.

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Israeli Army Shoots Dead 16 Year Old Palestinian in Budrus

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 18 January 2013

Sameer Awwad (16) was shot today with 3 live bullets at the West Bank village of Budrus, west of Ramallah. Awwad is the fourth to be killed near the Barrier in five days.

This morning, while children were clearing out of their classes in the village of Budrus, Israeli soldiers who convened by the Barrier near the school shot and killed 16 year-old Sameer Awwad.

According to eyewitnesses, Sameer was walking away from light clashes that had erupted by the Barrier when he was shot from the back with three bullets, from a distance of about 100 meters. One bullet hit his leg, another at the back of his neck and exited near his eyebrow, and the third entered his rib cage and exited from his chest.

Awwad was immediately transferred to Ramallah Hospital, where he was pronounce dead shortly after. He is the fourth Palestinian to have been killed this week by Israeli forces in the vicinity of the Barrier. Anwar al-Mamlouk, 21, was killed last Friday in Gaza , near the Barrier in Jabalya. On Saturday, Oudai Darwish from Dura near Hebron was killed in the South Hebron Hills, when trying to cross the barrier to find work in Israel. Another Plaestinian, Mustafa Abu Jarad, 21, was killed yesterday near the Barrier in Beit Lahia.

 

Video by Bilal Tamimi

Video by David Reeb

Video by Israel Puterman