| Stories |Abu Mohammed chose selling corns over giving up his land

Gaza,(Alresalah.ps)-- Bilal Mohammed Ali, known as Abu Mohammed, and in his 60s, could not find an alternative means to resist the take over of his land by Israeli settlements’ expansion except by being physically present there and selling corns on Nablus-Jenin Street, opposite to Sabatia village to the north of Nablus, after the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) banned him from building on his land, because it is located in area C, which is under full Israeli control in the West Bank.

Oslo Curse

Abu Mohammed tells the PIC reporter, “I own ten dunums of land in the village of Sabastia, in three different areas in the village, and all of which are near the Nablus-Jenin Street. He tried many times to build on his land, but he was banned by the IOA because it is located in area C, according to the Oslo accords, where he can’t build without a permit from the IOA.

He noted that his land would be sold at a half million NIS had it been located in area A and B, as the case in the lands of Dir Sharaf village, which is located only two kilometers away from his land.

He adds with a sorrow in his heart, “The curse of the Oslo accords prevented me from building on my land and made its value go lower compared to other nearby lands.”

During this time, Abu Mohammed stayed in his land, selling corns, to make a living and to be always present there to resist Israeli attempts to take over his land.

Murabit on his land

Abu Mohammed noted that he begins his day at 6:00 AM everyday. He buys uncooked corns from the vegetables market and boils them on a fire-stove. He starts the fire by burning branches of trees he collects from his land, which is planted by olives and almonds, spreading a beautiful smell of cooked corns, inviting nearby people to come to buy.

From time to time, Abu Mohammed would greet drivers back, who work on the Jenin-Nablus Street, as he worked as a driver for more than 30 years.

He said that he hoped, after all these years of hard work, to retire and build stores that would provide a steady income for him, but he faced a reality in which he realized he could not build on his land, located in area C in the West Bank.

Generous Offers

Abu Mohammed pointed out that his daily income is between 20 to 70 NIS (1$ equals 3.8 NIS). He inherited this land from his father and it is located one kilometer away from the Shavei Shomron settlement.

He noted that his house, which is located next to the settlement, was built during the Jordanian rule of the West Bank, before 1967, and without his house, the settlement would have expanded into his land.

He added, “Some suspicious merchants came to me and paid 35,000 JD per dunum, but I refused to sell my land because I believe they aim to buy it to expand the settlement of Shavei Shomron.”

He added that he went to the local council of Sabastia to help him obtain construction permits but they clearly stated, “We can’t help you because your land is located in area C.”

Abu Mohammed asserted that he would not give up his land, and would never sell it under any circumstances and would ask his children to keep it.