Um Ibrahim [the mother of Ibrahim] lives only several meters away from
her olive orchard, but when she wanted to pick her olive trees, she had
to travel for more that four hours in order to reach her orchards after
the Israeli soldiers barred her from crossing through Al Hamra
checkpoint, in Tubas district, northeast of the West Bank.
Feature Story by Palestine News Network, www.palestinenet.org
Alya' Suleiman, known as Um Ibrahim, lives in the plains area of the West Bank since dozens of years, she has been barred from reaching her orchards by the soldiers who required her to show them a permit from the so-called civil administration office that belongs to the Israeli army occupying the West Bank.
Even when trying to obtain such a permit, the office rejected her request and barred her along with her sons from reaching their orchards, and claimed that the area is a “closed military zone”.
“They just want to bar us from harvesting out land”, she said, “our main source of livelihood is considered a restricted area for us”.
“I will not abandon my land, we will remain steadfast; will plant it and harvest it, they want us to leave it but we will never do that” Um Ibrahim stated, “Hundreds of families living in Tubas and the plains areas are barred from reaching their orchards”.
Also, resident Jamal Yousef said that he had to go to several Israeli “civil administration” offices and military camps, and when he managed to obtain a permit to reach his own orchards, soldiers based at Al Hamra checkpoint told him that he can't cross.
“They just want to control our land, and seal it off”, he said, “they do not want us to reach our orchards”.
As the olive harvest season came, Um Ibrahim, took a sigh of relief because the income they get from selling olives and olive oil will solve some of their financial problems. But, the big shock was that he was not allowed to reach her orchards, in spite the the Israeli leadership “promised” to make it easier for the farmers to reach their orchards isolated behind the Wall and military checkpoints.
Persistent to reach her orchard, Um Ibrahim, as well as dozens of farmers, had to take another road to reach her orchard. But using this road mean four hours to reach the orchard, four hours to return.
“I am an old woman, my health condition does not allow me to travel for long hours and distances”, she said, “This is unjust, but what can we do, the occupation sealed everything off, closed all roads, and this long travel became the only way to reach my land which is only several meters away from me, but isolated behind a huge Wall”.