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“The soldiers occupy our house every day there is a demonstration at the checkpoint of the village”

6th January 2009, Ni’lin village

The Ameera family suffers the occupation of their house every time there are demonstrations at the main road of Ni’lin. Soldiers usually come in the morning and do not allow the family to go out from their house until they leave. There are normally four or five soldiers that stay constantly at the back of the house in the Ameera’s garden. Another group is at the main entrance and the rest, normally around ten soldiers, stay on the roof. The soldiers use the Ameera’s roof to shoot tear gas, sound bombs and rubber coated-steel bullets against the villagers that are protesting in the street. The location is strategic because they can easily aim the people in the street. “When they leave we have to clean all the empty boxes and the rubbish from the food and also army stuff that they leave on our roof”.

There are three families living in the building and all of them are told to be inside until the soldiers decide to leave. The mother, who suffers from anxiety and stress since the soldiers have started coming and occupying her house, says:

“Some times they take the chairs from the hall and put them outside to sit and rest in our garden while we are not allow to go outside” the mother said. “The soldiers speak Arabic with us, they are Druze. One day one of them spat on my face”.

“At the beginning I was afraid of them, now I’ve got used to it but my youngest daughter hides in the bathroom every time she sees them coming”.

Once again, the consequences of the occupation are affecting all inhabitants of this small village of no more than 4,500 people. The Ameera family are facing more occupations of their house. They are also losing their land because of the Apartheid wall Israel is building.