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The children of Al Hadidiya live here no more

The children of Al Hadidiya live here no more
by Daphne Banai, 15 May 2007

from Daphne Banai

A month ago we went to see the people of El Hadidiya. They have been living in the Israeli Occupied Jordan Valley for over 100 years, but have been expelled – to accommodate the needs of the illegal Israeli settlement that popped up around them. For the last 10 years, Palestinians in Hadidiya have been living near the settlement of Ro’i, growing wheat and tending to their sheep. But their Israeli settler neighbors demanded their removal because they fancied their land.

In despair the Hadidiya family turned to the Israeli Supreme Court looking for justice, for protection, from the colonizers’ judicial system. What a joke ! Claiming they were nomads (they are not – they try to settle and own the land !) – the court said it would not matter where they settle, and rejected their claim…

They turned their hoping eyes to us, and we had nothing to to offer them. What could we do? What could we say? That we’ll help?

Today we came again to see what’s happening with those gentle people and found ruins, destruction and lots of medications (for a broken heart?)

An old bike, some coins that are not in use any more, men’s shoes coupled up tidily – as if waiting for a couple of bare feet to make their way in, a dovecote – all the doves flying around it, a child’s toy.

The place still smells of life, carried on the sounds of death.

Everywhere I looked I could see the eyes of these little children piercing me. Will they come haunting us forever? And how does one live with the pain, with the shame?