Jerusalem24 – “My father, who planted in us the love of the land and the belonging to it, died while he was fighting the occupation, and no matter how much pressure and methods the occupation exerted, we will not leave or abandon it,” said the farmer Yasser Abu al-Kabbash about the new campaign launched by Israel to deport the residents of the village of Humsa al-Fouqa in the northern Jordan Valley.
Abu al-Kabbash added in an interview, “what we are facing is a continuation of the occupation’s plans that have not stopped for many years to evacuate the area and deport us in full view of the world who is standing silent and watching, but as long as we have a soul, we are stronger than the occupation.”
30 families (about 130 people) live in the village of Humsa, amid difficult and harsh conditions that lack the most basic necessities of life. Over the past few days, the Israeli military has turned the families’ lives into nightmares and constant anxiety, in light of new attempts to expel them and deprive them of living in the village’s lands whose area exceeds 2000 Dunams (Over 490 acres) are planted with wheat and barley, yet they insist on remaining. Abu al-Kabash, who considers the lands of Humsa al-Fouqa his, “life, soul, and honor, and it is my duty to defend it even if I sacrifice my life to remain.”
Connection to the land.
Abu al-Kabbash recounts that his father settled in the lands of al-Humsa al-Fouqa, since his family was deported during the Nakba in 1948, from Khirbet “Atir” of the town of Samou’ in the Hebron governorate. Tired, he struggled a lot until he married and formed a large family, his work in the land and raising livestock.
He added, “since I was young, my brothers and I were associated with this land that we love and sanctify its soil, and we learned the art of cultivating it and protecting it from the targeting and dangers of the occupation. We faced the pressures and practices of the occupation that demolished our homes, besieged us, killing and even confiscating sheep, imposing exorbitant fines and destroying agricultural crops, and we are continuing this struggle despite all that.”
Despite the passage of years, Abu al-Kabbash’s memory still preserves many pictures of the measures practiced by the Israeli authorities throughout his childhood. He says, “the occupation has not stopped harassing Palestinian families in Homs, and continues to use all kinds of racist methods, including depriving us of all the necessities of life. As well as the complete siege of our expulsion and deportation, and in the face of pressures and difficult circumstances, I left my studies at the age of 10 years, and my brothers and I joined my father and my family to learn agriculture and raising livestock at the hands of our father, so the occupation was on the lookout for us.”
He continues, “The occupation’s pursuit against us, which I lived through in my childhood, has not stopped until today, and my ten sons and grandchildren face the same fate and fight the battle, and we are all defending the land and everything in Homsah al-Fouqa.”
life and reality..
With sadness and pain, Abu al-Kabash says, “the occupation, which provided the settlements with all the necessities of life, luxury and a beautiful life in our lands and its bounties, still controls our lives and our destiny. We use old lanterns because most of the solar cells do not work. Despite this, the occupation pursues us and demolishes the tents, and we wake up every morning against large forces of the occupation army, demolishing barns and homes and confiscating tractors and agricultural equipment.”
He continues, “on March 11th, the occupation demolished our only shelter, my two-year-old daughter, Shaima, and the baby, Hasna, were inside the tent, and they did not take into account their presence, and we lived in the open for a while amid terrible conditions.”
The recent attack…
The Israeli military, despite the people’s determination to submit, began in the past few days a new campaign. According to Abu al-Kabbash the soldiers were storming the village and demanded its residents to leave immediately without any official notification.
Abu al-Kabash added, “We refuse to leave, the occupation prevented us from using the water well, which is 200 meters away from us and is also used to irrigate the vast lands, considering the area a closed military zone, and although the area is rich in water and its soil is fertile for agriculture and its lands are abundant for sheep grazing, we are prevented from accessing it, and we are not allowed to approach it.”
He continues, “daily, the occupation patrols storm the area and roam the village in the middle of our homes in a provocative manner that raises terror and fear among children in particular, and the major catastrophe is that the occupation raids our very simple homes, sheep barracks, and even our livelihood and food, in horrific ways, as the soldiers act as if they are coming to a war zone to pressure us.”
He concludes, “Since 1948 until today, the occupation has pursued us in order to deport us, but the displacement that Israel dreams of is impossible and will not be repeated, and we continue to survive despite the pain, and we are steadfast despite the occupation in the face of pressures, restrictions and policies, to protect our land, cultivate it and live from it.”