Military fire area

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Rachel Afek. Translated by Bracha Ben Avraham

Yusra testifies as someone who was born here, gotten married, raised children, seen them get married, and has seen her grandchildren born.  But the land on which she lives has been declared by the Jews as a Military fire area or nature preserve.  As of today, July 8th, it has been declared a closed military zone.

The following is an approximate translation of a conversation with Yusra, a resident of Humsa. 

The armed woman officer from the IDF  got out of her jeep and told me, “If you don’t leave here in five minutes we will confiscate your car.  Whoever is left here will be moved somewhere else.”

“Where?” I asked.

“To a place with shade.”
I translated it  for my new friend from Humsa. She said: we had shade here until yesterday.

Yusra was born here and her family has lived here since the 1970s.  Her father arrived here when he was a babyinfo-icon.

Yesterday the army arrived at 08:00 and stayed until 18:00.  They took everything, spilled all the food and water, and didn’t let us eat.  They threw everything on the ground.  They took my son’s food away and didn’t leave anything.

There were three generations of three families living here.  At the moment only three women are left.  The rest went to a place where there was shade from the hot sun.  I don’t know whether they will come back.

The shepherds and the flocks have gone to the pasture.  The army also took the water containers and soiled out all the water.  The army wants us to go to Shibli, but there is no grazing land there. 

Yesterday after the army left people came from the Palestinian Authority and brought us food.  Doctors and other people also arrived and brought water.  I hope they will do something.  There is no security for us here. 

Where did you sleep?

On the ground, as you can see.  They took everything, even the money we had.  They threw away everything, even our bags.  Even if we get anything back, it will be dirty and unsalvageable.