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Stolen Land (Video transcript)

Jiftlik, Jordan Valley, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories

Voice of young boy

It was so quick. We just looked at them. They started demolishing the land. I just started crying.

***

Israeli settlements are areas of Palestinian land where Israeli citizens have established houses, communities, businesses and towns.

They are illegal under international law.

In the last 45 years, over 40 percent of Palestinian West Bank land has been taken by Israeli soldiers.

***

Waleed Abohanya, Jiftlik Village, West Bank

The Israeli government has stolen over sixty percent of Waleed’s land since 1995. The most recent confiscation was in 2010.

Voice of Waleed Abohanya

There were about 50 or 60 of them. They came in jeeps enclosing the area that they were going to destroy. They just came and placed the bulldozer there.  When I went to talk to the guy from the Civil Administration he said, ‘this is expropriated land’.. ’this land is not yours’.

We said to him that we’d been cultivating this land for 30 or 40 years. Since 1948 we’ve been cultivating this land. It is recorded in their annual records.  They bulldozed it.  They came all at once and destroyed it.

When we tried to salvage some crops they started beating us. They didn’t allow us to gather any of the crop. It was a very painful feeling. When you toil the land only to see it destroyed, it’s as though they’re taking one of your children. It’s very sad.

Voice of Wasela Abohanya

It's not safe for children to walk alone and they themselves feel too afraid to go out alone.  I get scared too.

We work the land in order to raise our kids. There is no income outside of that. We have been forced to borrow money. How can we have an income when they destroy our crops?

Voice of Waleed Abohanya

There is fear. There is a lot of harassment from the Israelis. The land I showed you that they have taken is just the beginning. Gradually, they are starting to close in on us, slowly, slowly.

What can we do?

This is the law of the strong over the weak. We are still weak.

***

The confiscated land of Palestinians like Waleed is being used to grow products like herbs, dates and flowers. Many of these products are being exported to Europe.

End trade with illegal Israeli settlements.