Today we were again called to go to Susiya. When we arrived, the DCO and a military vehicle were at the roadside near a tractor that appeared to have been ploughing. We discovered that the tractor was ‘under arrest’ because it aided in putting up some water tanks for the village. These water tanks were donated by COMET ME which also supplies solar panels. There was no permit for having water towers so they also had to go. Of course, there is no way to get a permit which is needed for anything the villagers may want to build. That includes a toilet or animal pen.
You may wonder how the Israelis know that the village has received some water towers. Well, there are watch towers on most hilltops here in the South Hebron Hills. Also, the Israelis have balloons with cameras. And, in some cases, the settlers would inform them. So if there is a new structure, they would know about it.
Eventually the tractor was taken. An Israeli drove it into the village and hooked up a trailer and put in one of the stands that held a water tank. Then the tractor, trailer and stand were driven up onto a large flatbed truck and that left. Later another truck came and four water tanks were taken and another stand. It was a very difficult time. There was some appeals trying to save the tractor and some cried. I do not know how this can go on. Such injustice.
It will soon be the rainy season and the more water the village can collect, the less they would need to buy. Many of the wells and cisterns have been destroyed in this area and people are then forced to buy water at five times the price than the Israelis living in the settlements. Also it is ploughing and seeding season. The tractor is vital.
It is very difficult if not impossible for people to improve their lives. At one time, they had good homes and sufficient land to use for farming and shepherding. But every year, more land is confiscated and their lives made impossible.
I know it may be difficult for some to believe this goes on. But it does and it is played over and over again. We need to advocate for a peaceful solution based on International Law and UN resolutions. The Palestinians deserve the same rights and freedoms as their Israeli neighbours. Help end this injustice.