Holy Land Diary 3 - families deluged by rubbish thrown by settlers

Nets in Old City of Hebron placed to catch rubbish thrown by illegal settlers

Nets in Old City of Hebron placed to catch rubbish thrown by illegal settlers

A Pax Christi delegation is currently visiting the Holy Land. Pat Gaffney, general secretary,  has sent this report from Hebron.

Our EAPPI friends introduced us to one of their local friends, a Palestinian called Hashim who spoke with us about the particular suffering he experiences.

His house in the old town of Hebron is built on one of the many 'terrace' style slopes.  Unfortunately above him are a number of settler families who have come in and claimed land for themselves.  For Hashim and his family, the problem is not just that he does not have friendly neighbours, his neighbours positively make life as painful and stressful as possible.

Several years ago the beautiful old vine that his family planted years ago was cut at the roots and gradually died.  He has left the rotten branches as a sign of what happened.  Then the settlers started to throw their rubbish down onto his house and very small garden.  Hashim put up a net to catch the rubbish.  Light rubbish would be trapped and eventually removed.

But one day something heavier came down - an old washing machine - hurting Hashim and only just avoiding his children.

Hashim is a remarkable man.  He works with EAPPI, with the Israeli group Breaking the Silence ( former soldiers who now tell of their military experiences and what it has done to the Palestinians), with trades union groups here and in the UK, with academics..... to create what he calls  a democratic state within which all people will have equal rights.  He says it does not matter to him is the Prime Minister is a Christian, Jew or Muslim... what matters is that whatever political system that is put in place works out of an equal rights agenda.  For him  talk of two states is long gone... something different has to be created, what he calls a Party for Justice and Democracy.

I met Hashim in Spring 2009 and his passion for a political solution that will be just is as strong  as ever.  What I find amazing is that he has stayed put in his home... not matter how horrific the harassment, not matter how fearful is he for his family... to stay put is to resist occupation.

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