When A saw Israeli civilians approach, he did the sensible thing and fled. This is what quiet terrorism looks like.
By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz
A. is a resident of the village Faratha in the West Bank. He declined to have his name published, as he has become a regular target for attacks by Israeli civilians. He owns two plots of land; the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad is built next to one of them. The establishment of the outpost led to the familiar pattern of dispossession in the West Bank: in order to protect the safety of the Israeli civilians who illegally took over land and settled, the army only allows A. to work his land during the olive harvest season, and only after coordination in advance with Israeli security forces.
But the military commander refuses to allow him to work his land, arguing that the plot contains no olive trees and that coordination is reserved for olive growers alone. And so, seven dunams of land were taken from A.’s possession and practically turned over to Israeli squatters as a reward. Once settlers seize land, it is almost impossible to liberate it.
A., who is 80 years old, was left with another plot of land, closer to Faratha itself. But the proximity to the village was not enough to protect it: for years he grew wheat there, and year after year his crops were set ablaze. Out of desperation, A. decided that this year he would grow sesame. After all, it’s less flammable.
Several weeks ago, A. went to his plot of land with a donkey and began plowing and preparing it for planting. Suddenly, he noticed three young men coming from the direction of Havat Gilad. A. feared for his safety, and fled along with the donkey. He left behind some clothes, his shovel and the donkey’s blanket. His sense terror was not baseless: A. remembered that a year ago his neighbor was working his land when suddenly Israeli civilians appeared and beat him severely. “It was only with difficulty that he was evacuated to the hospital,” he recalls.
After some 90 minutes, A. returned to the land. He found the clothes and the blanket, but not the shovel. Perhaps someone took a shine to it; perhaps he simply lost it while fleeing. The following day A. went back working his plot, planting sesame....Read More