Days of Palestine

Tuesday, March 21

Illegal Israeli Settlement Encroaches on Palestinian Family Home in Occupied West Bank

M.Y | DOP -

Days of Palestine – Ramallah

A metal fence almost 10 meters high is surrounding the home of a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank, forcing them to go through a gate controlled by the Israeli occupation forces to access their home.

Since the Israeli occupation forces unlawfully took control of the occupied West Bank in 1967, “Tel Aviv” started propping up illegal Israeli settlements all over the area, including on land surrounding that of the Gharib family. Tossed into an enclave in their own house on their own land, the Gharib family is isolated in their single-story home on the edge of the village of Beit Ijza.

“I don’t know when this will end,” Sa’adat Gharib said. “No one knows the pain my children are suffering.”

The family is now trapped behind a yellow gate operated by Israeli occupation forces, who are also patrolling a bridge overlooking the eight-meter fence surrounding the Palestinian property.

The Israeli occupation settlements set up on Palestinian land are deemed illegal by the majority of the world, even the United Nations, though that only includes the occupied West Bank, not recognizing Palestine’s sovereignty over the rest of the country except for the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli occupation rejects the judgment deeming its presence in the occupied West Bank as illegal. Regardless, the Gharib family went to court and fought numerous legal battles, which culminated in the family winning the right to a small strip of land in 2012.

The gate, which became a makeshift Israeli military checkpoint, was erected in 2008, and the family was forced to hold up their IDs to security cameras to be granted access into their home in a scene that one might think is taken out of a dystopian novel that has been a reality for the Palestinian family.

The Israeli occupation and its settlers are continuously violating the privacy and the rights of the Palestinian family through arbitrary actions, which led to many disputes between the Gharib family and the Israeli settlers.

Gharib hung up blue tarpaulins to create a screen between his home and the “Givon Hahadasha” settlement. “So that the kids can play without being bothered by the settlers and fearing them.”

Gharib said the situation has affected his children, particularly when confrontations take place between Palestinians and the heavily armed Israeli occupation forces.

“This is our land which my father inherited from my grandfather. We will not sell it to anyone for all the money in the world,” he said.

The Palestinian man faces many obstacles, especially when he wants to leave and harvest the family’s olive trees, as he has to take a route through the neighboring Palestinian village of Bayt Duqu and wait around two hours for the Israeli occupation troops to open another gate.

When “Tel Aviv” is not controlling the lives of Palestinians, the Israeli occupation is either displacing them or demolishing their homes in a bid to make their lives more difficult.

The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies said the Israeli occupation authorities continue their psychological and economic war against prisoners and their families by adopting a policy of demolishing homes and displacing their residents.

The center explained that since the beginning of this year, the Israeli occupation has escalated the policy of demolishing the homes of the families of prisoners. It highlighted that the occupation demolished six homes, the majority of which are in the city of Jenin, a number equivalent to the total number of houses demolished in 2021.

The director of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies considered the demolition of the prisoners’ families’ homes a serious violation of international norms and laws and a violation of the provisions of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the protection of civilians in times of war, adding that the occupation was punishing civilians yet to be convicted of any act of resistance.