A month ago I was present just hours after homes had been demolished by the Israeli Army.
Today I visited that site again, to see how the people were doing, and what was happening.
Here are some of the photos from Am Nir near Susiya in the South Hebron Hills.
There are 6 new houses of concrete, 2 completed, 4 still needing doors, windows, a floor, a permanent roof. The new toilet, the hammam, has been framed. People are laughing. Halima Jabouri, the lady who took me to see her demolished tent in March, today was making a new stone structure for the animals.
I watched as Halima, this strong woman, gathered mounds of clay to plaster against the rock walls. She laughed as she worked, recognized me and we greeted each other as women do in Palestine: 3 or 4 kisses on alternate cheeks. Her hands were muddy, her smile ebulient. They were rebuilding. And there was hope.
Hope because Prime Minister Fayyad had come and had promised help and had laid the first concrete blocks 4 weeks ago.
Still there was the everpresent question: what will happen the next time the army comes? and they will come. Just yesterday an army jeep visited. One soldier asked one of the villagers, “How do you like living without water and electricity?”
Without water because the last time the army was here in March the cisterns and wells were destroyed by bulldozers. Without electricity because they are not allowed to install any power lines, solar panels, anything, without a permit. And no permits are given out to Palestinians.
This day members of the Israeli organization Tayyoush were present with Palestinians to rebuild a cistern. One has already been completed and this second one will be finished within a month, Inshallah, God-willing. Israeli human rights groups and peace organizations often come to assist Palestinians who have been unjustly treated due to the Occupation.
For those present today, this was a
day of hope and rejoicing.