Wednesday 18 July 2018 
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Clay and tin resist the Israeli occupation

As usual, Hassan Balsema, Abu Moath, went to his land in Ezbit Abu El-Basal, near the factories of the Israeli Ariel settlement to the west of Salfit, in the West Bank, on Friday, 1 December 2017, to cultivate and take care of it. However, he found a notification placed on one of the stones there informing him of evacuation and demolition.

 

As usual, Hassan Balsema, Abu Moath, went to his land in Ezbit Abu El-Basal, near the factories of the Israeli Ariel settlement to the west of Salfit, in the West Bank, on Friday, 1 December 2017, to cultivate and take care of it. However, he found a notification placed on one of the stones there informing him of evacuation and demolition.

 

The PIC reporter in Salfit spoke to Abu Moath a day after he received the order, still in shock. “The notification was issued by the Higher Planning Committee of the Israeli Civil Administration, under the claim that maintenance done there violates the constructions laws, although the family and their real estate have been there even before 1967, the year Israel occupied the West Bank, and before the construction of Israeli factories belonging to the settlement of Ariel took place.”

 

The area is called Abu Al-Basal, the Arabic word for onions, because it is famous for cultivating onions, where soil is appropriate, as it is full of natural materials, according to Abu Moath.

 

Repeated expulsion
Asma Belasma, Hassan’s mother, told the PIC, “My husband died at the age of 80 and he was expelled from the village of Kfar Saba in the occupied territories of 1948,” adding that he erected a tent and built a mud house in Ezbit Abu El-Basal, after the Nakba hoping to return back to his village one day.

 

“The occupation turned my husband’s land in the occupied territories in 1948 to Meir Hospital, after changing the village’s name to Kfar Saba,” adding with sorrow: “The occupation drove us out of our land and continues to chase us until now. We will not surrender to the occupation despite all restrictions, expulsion and Judaization, and we will not live the Nakba again.”

 

The blessed harvest
She sobs and continues saying, “Harvest in Ezbit Abu El-Basal is one of the most beautiful moments. With each harvest season, I remember the orchards, the fields and the fruit trees, such as the cherub. I sometimes cry for the misery we have been driven to.”

 

Um Hassan recalls the first days of the settlements project in the area, adding, “We were in a state of anticipation and tension after the visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the Israeli Knesset and signing the Camp David Accords in 1978. The occupation built the settlement of Ariel, stealing and looting our lands, and the construction of the industrial zone called “Burkan”. Izbat Abu El-Basal became part in the confiscated land and behind the (separation) wall.”

 

Her martyred son
The details of the 7th of August 2005, in still present in the memory of Um Hassan, when the bulldozers of the occupation levelled parts of the family’s lands and killed her son Mohammed, in cold blood, “claiming that he is the sixth follower of martyr Yahya Ayyash.”

 

She concludes with assurance, “We will not leave the place, and we will remain steadfast on it.” She draws her strength from her husband’s words. “He didn’t leave the place and fulfilled his promise. He remained there until his death,” she says. A land spilled with the blood of martyrs will not be left to the enemies, and we will remain steadfast as long the Palestinian thyme and olives exist.




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