Khillet Al-Farra: Steadfastness in face of Israeli annexation plans

Khillet al-Farra (Umm al-Amad) hamlet, west of Yatta, south of al-Khalil, is experiencing difficult conditions due to the violations of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settler attacks that aim to control the area and annex it to the surrounding Jewish settlements. The hamlet’s inhabitants are forced to confront both the occupation and the poor public services.

The displacement and confiscation of land threaten 450 citizens living in the Khillet al-Farra which lacks any official or relief institutions to support their steadfastness, as it is a remote area of difficult access.

Ataniel settlement is built on the lands of al-Khalil mountain and is inhabited by a thousand settlers. It poses as the biggest threat to the hamlet. Khillet al-Farra is exposed to the Ataniel settlers’ attacks and attempts to control its land in addition to threats of displacement.

Harsh conditions

Hajj Mahmoud al-Qaymari, a resident of the village, confirmed that its people live in harsh conditions, especially in the winter due to poor infrastructure and heavy rain. The electrical wires are mixed with mud and water which poses a threat to the lives of individuals, especially children.

Qaymari added, “The settlers have spoiled our lives and they insist on stealing our lands and we insist on steadfastness so that the lands do not fall into the grip of the occupation.”

He pointed out that the townspeople are deeply rooted in it and would never think of leaving it despite the fact that its children are forced to walk five kilometers to schools. He denounced the lack of support by official institutions, “No one is helping us.”

Fawzi Abu Tabikh, a resident of Khillet al-Farra, built a house for him in one of the caves to support his steadfastness and turned it into a house with full details. He explained that he resorted to such a solution because he had received demolition notices by the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for his home three times, which if implemented would have left him and his family members homeless. 

He explained that he excelled in preparing the cave so that he and his family would remain firm in their land and find a suitable place to live if the IOF demolished their home.

Abu Tabikh stated that the house was established by digging into the rocks using simple tools and he was forced to put an emergency exit for children in case the settlers carry out sudden attacks on them.

He stressed that they would not leave their land even if they were buried alive in it. He also called on official and governmental institutions to support the steadfastness of Khillat al-Farra’s residents.

The IOA seeks, through its continuous repressive measures, to tighten its grip over the residents of Masafer Yatta, which includes Khillat al-Farra along with other hamlets, to force them to leave their homes and lands and make way for building settlements.

Al-Khalil is the second city after Jerusalem in the settlement targeting priorities of the Israeli occupation because of its historical and religious significance.

Al-Khalil suffers from the presence of more than fifty settlement outposts in which about thirty thousand Jewish settlers live. These settlers are working to strengthen the overall grip on the province.

Source: The Palestinian Information Center

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