Skip to main content

Separation Barrier isolates the Zeid Family Home from their village, January 2002

Na'il Zeid, age 32 , resident of Tura a-Sharqiya, Jenin District.

I live in a house that was built in 1962 on an 18-dunum plot of land. The land belongs to the Tura a-Sharqiya village, but is located about 650 meters to the north of the other houses in the village. Today, the Shaked settlement is located opposite the house. I live with my wife, Fatma, my children Ra'id (6), Nur (5), and Muhammad (6 months), my brother, Anur, his wife, Nisrin, their son Seif (also 6 months), my sisters, 'Aisha (35) and Rachma (27), my 80-year-old father and my 70-year-old mother.

Our trouble started when the settlement was established opposite the house. There are three families living in the 125-sqaure-meter house, and the Israeli authorities do not permit us to build additional rooms. We started building an additional room several times, but the Civil Administration and the Planning and Building Committee wouldn't let us continue. For example, two months ago, a representative from the Planning and Building Committee, by the name of Yigal Shachor, came to us and warned us not to continue building. He said that if we put in a roof, he would demolish the entire house. He refused to give us a written warning. The only thing we managed to build was a brick and tin structure for storing basic necessities, fodder and kindling.

Because my house is far away from the rest the village, Israel's waterworks company pipelines don't reach it. I've had to install plastic pipes to get water to the house. I also installed low voltage power lines to be able to have electricity.

Recently, the work on the Separation Fence, which started a few months ago accelerated. The army issued a seizure order for our land in the beginning of August. The land was to be expropriated for the purpose of setting up the Separation Fence. People in the village told me that our house and land were part of the area designated for the fence.

I didn't do anything to prevent this, because I know that the army will go ahead as planned anyway. Besides, I can't afford to go to the Israeli court.

In October 2002, Israeli bulldozers began work on the lands of the villages Tura al- Gharbiya and Tura a-Sharqiya. They mainly uprooted trees. On 20 January 2002, the bulldozers came to the road leading to our house and razed it. They disconnected the supply lines and we were left without water and electricity. At first, we thought it would take only a few days to repair the damage. I talked to a man by the name of Ahmad, the foreman of the construction company. He understood the problem and promised to repair the damage. He told me that the water and electricity lines would be placed two meters deep into the ground, so as not to get in the way of the construction. The foreman promised that it would be done within a week. My family and I were satisfied with this arrangement. However, the same foreman came back a week later, accompanied by Yigal Shachor. Shachor informed us that the water and the electricity lines would not be restored, and again warned us not to build any additions to the house.

AfterYigal Shachor told us this, I turned to the Palestinian Authority. I went to the local legal office and to the District Coordination Office, and demanded they help us reconnect the water and electricity supplies. Two months have passed and nothing's been done. We don't have running water. There's a very small amount of water left in the drinking water tank. We fear we won't be able to stay in the house. The work on the fence is about to finish and we'll be left totally isolated in an inaccessible area.

Yesterday, we had to call a doctor because my father had fallen ill. The doctor arrived in his car, but was unable to cross the area where the work is being done. We had to use one of the tractors to tow his car. When the work is finished, it'll be impossible to cross the road.

Another problem the children's access to school. They go to school in Nazalat Zeid, about a kilometer and a half from our home.

With each passing day, our doubts about being able to stay here grow. We will be completely isolated. The Shaked settlement is to the north of us, the bypass and settlement access roads are to the west and the Separation Fence completes the siege form the south. The fence passes five hundred meters from us, meaning that we'll be closed off. It doesn't seem like the plans are going to change.

We expect the relevant institutions do something before it is too late. All we ask is that our house be supplied with electricity and water and that a road be paved between the fence and our home so we can continue to live as normal people.

Na'il 'Aziz Saleh Zeid is 32 years old . He is married and the father of three. Na'il works as a laborer and he is a resident of Tura a-Sharqiya in the Jenin District. The testimony was taken by 'Atef Abu a-Rub on 8 January, 2003.