Soon I Will Watch Israel Destroy My Home

Eid Khamis in Forward:

As I write these words, I await Israel’s destruction of the only home and community that I have known in my 52 years of life. The 180 residents of my West Bank village, Khan al-Ahmar — men, women and children — will soon be forcibly removed from our land in order to expand Israel’s illegal settlements. Our homes will be demolished and even our elementary school, built with love out of nothing but tires and mud, will be leveled.

My fondest memories are of my childhood in Khan al-Ahmar. I would often make trips with my friends to a nearby valley full of natural springs and ponds. We would take food and tea with us, riding on donkeys to swim, catch fish, and enjoy ourselves. Israel stopped us from visiting the valley years ago, and now it wants us to leave our homes altogether and move once again.

Even though Khan al-Ahmar was established in 1952, long before Israel’s army occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it cannot be found on a map. My parents came to Khan al-Ahmar after being forcibly removed in 1948 from our village in the desert in Arad, after the establishment of the State of Israel. Like other Palestinian cities and towns, Israel destroyed our village in order to make way for Jewish Israelis. We were thrown off our land and told to fend for ourselves.

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