The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Do Palestinians Have Human Rights?

By Hamdan Huraini


How do we define human rights? Does a Palestinian have the right to live or not? Is a Palestinian a human being or not? If you think these are easy questions to answer, I tell you, do not bother. 

Here in the village of Susya, every day, Israeli settlers throw stones, attack Palestinian homes, and attack shepherds. There is not a moment when you feel that you are safe. With every passing moment, you can’t imagine what will happen. 

You are a Palestinian, so you do not have rights. The first and last right is for the settler. So what does this occupying settler do? They break into homes, threaten Palestinians with death, destroy agricultural crops and trees, and demolish water wells. As a Palestinian, you should not defend yourself or protect your family, and if you do, you will go to prison. If you, as a Palestinian, do nothing, you must just die in silence.

For more than 6 months, the roads and entrances to the village of Susya have been completely blocked, and the people of the village of Susya are forced to drive on bumpy roads in order to bring food and water to their families. Every day, the settler shepherds bring their herds to graze in the center of our village, between our homes, invading our land and damaging our agricultural crops.

Not only that, but they attack the Palestinians, insult them with the most vile words, threatening to leave them or kill them or take their homes. Recently, a group of young settlers attacked the family of Nasser Al-Nawajaa, a resident of the village of Susiya. At first the settler boys came to graze their sheep near his house. This was repeated more than once, until one day a group of settlers came, with covered faces, and attacked his house and his family with stones. They forced his family to leave their house for fear of further attack. Later, settlers smashed his car that was in front of his house. Settlers have also thrown stones into the homes of other families living in Susiya.

This past Saturday, April 27, more than 11 settlers, aged between 12-18 years, attacked and destroyed agricultural crops and olive trees. They also built a blockade on a road that Palestinians had built to access their private agricultural lands, since all of the other roads have been closed since the beginning of the war.

The settlers came with their sheep to our homes. I called the police, and I explained that the settlers were in front of my neighbors house, with a flock of sheep. The police came after 20 minutes, and asked to see the documents of land ownership.  They refused to remove the settlers, saying they were allowed to graze there.

“These are our homes,” I said to the policeman. “How are they allowed to be here?”

He told me we were on state land. 

Our homes have become state land. I was born here, I grew up here, and now a policeman comes and says that settlers are allowed to be at my door. 

Yes, it is the law of the jungle. It is a double standard. There is no justice. The only thing that exists is racism and hatred of Palestinians.

Two weeks earlier, a group of young settlers attacked homes in Susya, throwing stones and yelling insults. The police came and said, “I will talk to their mother.” What would happen if a Palestinian child had done the same thing that the settler children had done? He would likely be shot, immediately, with no care. 

The repeated attacks on the village of Susiya aim to displace us from our homes. For more than 6 months, the residents of the village of Susiya have been suffering from settler terrorism. We have been told we cannot reach our agricultural lands because they are ‘closed military zones’, while we watch settlers graze their sheep right outside our windows. They think by increasing the attacks and increasing the pressure on our lives, we will leave. They could not be more wrong.

Humans of Masafer Yatta is free today. But if you enjoyed this post, you can tell Humans of Masafer Yatta that their writing is valuable by pledging a future subscription. You won’t be charged unless they enable payments.

Pledge your support


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *