Restricted in al-Walaja

09.03.11 – 09:31| PNN – Palestine News Network

By Melanie van der Voort –  Many years ago the grandfather of Abed owned 6 dunams of land in al-Walaja, south of Bethlehem. Now Abed (55) owns it. Since the occupation however, Abed is restricted to go to his land. To protect it, he decided to live in the 4000 year old Can’ani cave, which is part of the land.










Abed is restricted in a lot of ways.  His family constructed the main road from Bethlehem to the land. ‘Now the Israeli army blocked the main entrance of the road and made it only accessible for Israeli citizens. Although I have a Jerusalem ID, they won’t let me through a lot of times,’  Abed tells.

For every piece of property on his land Abed has a court case; the eco toilet, kitchen (which is basically only a oven), compost, chicken house. Because he is not allowed to build anything on his land.

Even the 4000 year old Can’ani cave has a court case. Which is around 4 square meter and only a small bed, sofa and fire place fit in.  Even a door for the cave to protect Abed from the cold is not allowed. ‘One time I made a door and when I was gone people destroyed it.’ Whether it was done by settlers or the army, Abed doesn’t know.

ImageAbed has  all the documents that proof he is the owner of the land, Turkish, Jordanian and Palestinian papers. He even has the ID card of his grandfather. ‘I will never sell a piece of land. It has happened that business men came and wanted to buy some land in order to build a petrol station or a wedding hole. But I will never sell a piece of land.‘

ImageWater and electricity are cut. But he has found alternative solutions for that. A generator was donated by internationals. And a nearby monastery is willing to let Abed fill up water tanks.

ImageDesperately seeking for help, Abed wrote a letter to president Obama to invite him for a cup of coffee. The letter was published in newspapers and send trough the embassy. But no answer reached Abed.

ImageLike Abed, in this region many   farmers suffer from the occupation. Some are not able to go to their land because it was split up by the wall or a settlers road. Others find their land many times being destroyed by settlers or the army.

Every day Abed feels the pressure of his land being destroyed. In order to protect it, he decided to live in the cave.  Although his wife and 8 children live in Deheisha refugee camp in Bethlehem. He now tries to visit them once a week.

All of this article Photos Copy Right is owned by Melanie van der Voort



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PNN – Palestine News Network – Restricted in al-Walaja.

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