tirsdag 19. oktober 2010

How can all this happen?

The Soufan family lives in Burin - a village 15 km south of Nablus. Their house is on a hill in the middle of an olive grove overlooking the village. On the top of the surrounding hills one can see buildings from the illegal outpost of the Israeli settlement Yitzhar - and a new building has been added to this outpost only last week.
A new house has been added

When we came to see them on this day everything was quiet, the men in the family were harvesting olives and the women with the young children were in the house. In the olive grove next to the road leading up to the outpost, there were two Israeli military cars and one police car. Since there have been quite a few incidents of settler violence the past years, the farmers have to call the army to come and protect them from any settler harassments during the harvest. Although the army tend to side with the settlers, they do their work - especially when internationals with cameras are around. "The army is more afraid of a camera than an M16" as the Yanoun mayor put it.

Israeli army and police-cars
Protecting the farmer - two small boys watching

It was not always this quiet. In 2002 the setllers set fire to the family's house and partially burned it down. When the father in the family saw what was happening, he had a heart attack and died in front of his daughter's eyes.

We chatted with the females in the house and played with the children. They were all cheerful, however, they keep repeating that it is difficult to live here, very difficult - so close to the settlers.

And I am wondering - how can they appear so smiling and cheerful and welcoming when they are living in constant fear of being attacked?

I say "shukran" for the tea and the coffee and leave them - full of admiration for their courage and persistence.

This situation seems so crazy and confusing. On our way back I drive my taxi driver insane with which may seem to him naive questions - how can all this happen....???

4 year old Shehed - already a proud schoolgirl

Brother and sister

Israeli settlers'grafiti on a Palestinian house

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