WAR forces people to leave their lands, their homes, their livelihoods.
Yet, many of us resist, because we love our land, our water, our way of life.
We resist, because we strongly believe the rights to use and manage lands,
territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are
in the hands of those of us who produce food.
Suleiman Hammad, Palestinian farmer, was brutally killed for believing this, for resisting the occupation of his land.
Palestinian medical sources have reported that Suleiman was killed on February 8th, 2017, after being struck by a car of an Israeli colonialist settler, while walking to work on his own land near Al-Khader Village, south of Bethlehem. Suleiman actively resisted the occupation by refusing to give up his land, enduring Israeli settlers’ attempts to restrict him from even accessing that land. According to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees- Palestine (UAWC), the killing of Suleiman Hammad is part of the Israeli systematic violation of the right to life which is one of the most basic human rights to all people: This killing came after just days of the Israeli approval of law to legalize West Bank settlement spots that is built unlawfully on Palestinian land classified as area “C” according to Oslo agreement, which will lead to the theft of more Palestinian land.
Suleiman Hammad lived in AL Khader village, a Palestinian town located approximately 4 km from Bethlehem Governorate. Al Khader is mainly dependent on the agriculture sector, which employs 35% of the town’s workforce. The Israeli authorities confiscated large areas of Al Khader land for the construction of several Israeli settlements and bypass roads to connect these settlements. Area C, which falls under full Israeli control, constitutes 85.5% of the total village area.
The apartheid wall which extends 4.35km into Al Khader lands isolates 5620 dunums (562 hectares) of the town’s territory. Most of this land is agricultural, forested or open and constitutes a source of income for many local Palestinian families. Since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the Israeli’s have confiscated large areas of land for Israeli settlement, controlled water resources and violated the basic human rights of Palestinians.