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Women's Voices: Fawziyeh A. - Property destruction

Name: Fawziyeh A.
Age: 54
Location: Kafr ed Dik, West Bank
Nature of incident: Destruction of water well and shed
Date of incident: 21 November 2011

On 21 November 2011, Israeli bulldozers destroy agricultural sheds and water wells belonging to Palestinian farmers near the village of Kafr ed Dik, in the occupied West Bank.

Fawziyeh lives in the small village of Kafr ed Dik, in the West Bank. The Israeli settlement of Ale Zahav is located nearby. “On 11 October 2011, Israeli soldiers placed a notice in front of the agricultural shed which we built more than 10 years ago ordering us not to add to the structure,” recalls Fawziyeh. “The shed is made out of bricks and has a tin roof. It has a bathroom, a kitchen and some furniture and mattresses for us to sleep on. I helped build the shed with my own hands together with my son.  I worked very hard to make it a nice place for the family to use during the olive harvest season. Ten years ago we also built a well to collect rain water. This enabled us to grow peas and beans on the land around the shed. We sold some of the crop and kept some for ourselves.”
“On 21 November 2011, at around 11:00 am, two Israeli bulldozers, five army jeeps and a vehicle from the planning authorities arrived at the place where the shed was build,” recalls Fawziyeh. “A farmer who was nearby later told me. I was at my sister’s house at the time when I heard the loudspeaker from the mosque telling the farmers who owned sheds and water wells to go to their land because soldiers were about to demolish them.”
“I lost my mind when I heard this and rushed to the place with my sister,” says Fawziyeh. “When I arrived I saw soldiers surrounding all the other farmers who had arrived at the scene preventing them from approaching their land and obstructing the bulldozers. I also saw some journalists and a T.V. crew.”
“One of the soldiers stopped me and asked where I was going. I told him I wanted to go to my shed but he prevented me. I sat on the ground because I could not hold myself any longer. I was tired from the long fast walk to the land but when the soldier prevented me from getting to the shed I found it hard to breathe and just collapsed. I suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, I felt I was about to die,” recalls Fawziyeh.
“I collected all my strength and asked one of the soldiers why they were demolishing the shed. I explained to him that we use the shed to store agricultural tools and to keep olives during the harvest. I told him the shed does no harm to anyone, it is way out in the fields. The soldier told me that it was not legal. I was so furious and asked him whether the settlement built on our land was legal,” says Fawziyeh.
“I cried my eyes out. I cried so hard for days and could not sleep. My blood sugar and blood pressure went up. I don’t know how we are going to manage without the shed. It will be impossible to take care of the land. I blamed myself for allowing them to demolish it; I should have thrown myself in front of the bulldozer,” says Fawziyeh.


keyword: Property Destruction