Aadel Suad, a Palestinian resident of the town of Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel, has been prevented for twelve years from building on his own land, and continues to live in a temporary shack with his family.When Suad first applied for a permit to build a home in 1997, he says a senior official told him ‘Don’t waste your time. We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.’

He said that they made the reason very clear: they do not want Palestinians in their otherwise all-Jewish town.

According to Suad, “’We didn’t invade the plot and we didn’t take over the land. My grandfather has been here since the Turks. We have a land registry document proving ownership of three acres.’

The Israeli town of Mitzpe Ramon was founded in 1979 on formerly Palestinian land. Most of the former Palestinian residents were displaced, but Aadel Suad managed to hold onto the land that had been in his family for generations. The new municipality then redefined his land as a ‘development area’, and split his plot into two parts.

He was allowed to remain on his land with his family, but prevented him from building a home. The municipality repeatedly attempted to push him off his land and into another area of southern Israel, but he refused to accept the illegal confiscation of his land.

Now, after finally receiving his construction permit in 2007, he has again been refused the ability to build on his land, with the excuse that there is no sewage line in the area.

Suad told reporters of the most recent denial, ‘It’s clear that the threat I heard in 1997 is coming true. They don’t want us here. But I’ll keep fighting until my children and I live on our private land.’