Abu Hummus, or the “General” as they call him in the neighbourhood, has lived here since he was a child. He is one of the main activist in a neighbourhood that refuses to give in to the occupation. Hummus shows us the devastated streets and says that even in those conditions, the residents have to pay their taxes to Israel: it’s crazy!!!
The streets of Issawiya are full of rubbish and many of the houses have been demolished by the Zionist “bulldozers” that pressure the residents into leaving when they can no longer pay their debts. These are the techniques used by an apartheid state as it tries to expel part of the population: the Palestinians. Abu Hummus walks through these streets every day, together with his crutches. He was hit by a bullet during a protest in Qalandia (Ramallah), when he and his family were going shopping for Ramadan. But the wounds have not lessened the “General of Issawiya’s” capacity to resist.
In the street, the neighbours recognize him and salute him. It is December 2017, people are still in the street following Donald Trump’s announcement to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviz to Jerusalem.
Many of them participated in the protests, which threatened to turn into the third Intifada; others have their faces covered after having been wounded by the antiriot material used to deter them. On the ground, shells and gas grenades are everywhere, a sign of the Zionist repression. In addition, news about the dozens of young people arrested has spread through the neighbourhood; this is something Palestinians are used to.
This happened to Abu Hummus on several occasions, the last time after this documentary was finished. The 'general' was so active in the neighbourhood protests that an Israeli court ordered him not to set foot for three months in Issawiyya, and it was there that his story began in the co-resistance.
Yuris is an anti-Zionist Israeli, and a longtime friend of Abu Hummus. On learning that the latter was going to be banished from “Little Gaza” he did not hesitate to invite him to his house. In court they were surprised, but could do nothing to prevent it. Every day. Hummus and Yuris had a conversation about the occupation at this Israeli’s house on French Hill, an apartment block between Issawiya and Hebrew University, where the smell of Arab coffee brings them together again for a conversation.
One day after the Six-Day War, in 1968, the first Israeli settlement was installed in Hebron. Since then, its streets are the witnesses of impotence, of the struggle to defend one’s land, of the violence and all the contradictions of the occupation. At present, more than 2000 soldiers escort more than 800 Israeli settlers, most of them from the United States and all very violent. According to the Oslo Accords, the town is theoretically divided into two parts: the H1, which is under the control of the Palestinian authority, and H2, under Israeli military control. Nothing could be further from the truth: Israel controls the points of access and arbitrarily dictates the daily life of every single inhabitant.
Nisreen Hashem Azzeh is a Palestinian artist and activist who resists with her four children in Tel Rumeida, an illegal settlement according to international law, located in the historic city centre.
She scrapes out a living on a hillside surrounded by Israeli settlers, the victim of constant threats and the fear of suffering aggressions, which occur frequently. Her gaze is sad, but there is no resignation in it. When her husband, Dr. Hashem Azzeh, died on 21st October 2015 after inhaling tear gas thrown by the Israeli army, she took this place.
Nisreen works in Hebron, so every day she has to cross the military checkpoint that blocks Shuhada Street and gives access the settlement, and face the capricious will of the soldiers. When she gets home, she takes care of the household tasks, but she no longer goes up to the terrace to hang the laundry: a military tower is only ten meters away from her roof with soldiers pointing at her. Life here is distressing, almost a punishment.
An iron jumble in the form of blades separates Ahmad Barghouthi's olive grove from his home. This Palestinian farmer still remembers when the wall was not there and he could collect the olives on the whole hillside. A land plundered by Israel, which has belonged to his family since time immemorial.
The occupation divided his olive grove, which has been this family’s livelihood for decades. Ahmad remembers how his parents asked him to bury them next to his grandmother in the family’s private cemetery, under a historic oak next to the Palestinian village of Al Walaja.
“They don’t even respect the dead” says Ahmad as he shows us the vast border wire fence that divides his land and crosses over the tombs of his relatives. Pain runs through his blood every morning when he goes out to feed his animals and visit his parents, who suffered war and the occupation. Now their graves suffer the weight of Israeli apartheid.
After the Six-Day War, Israel redesigned Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries by annexing half of the land of Al-Walaja, decreasing even more the area to which the municipality was reduced after the Nakba in 1948.
In addition, the Ain Jawaizeh neighbourhood of Al-Walaja was included in the district of Jerusalem, as a result of which Israeli law was imposed on its inhabitants who were denied, however, the right of residence in Jerusalem. At present Ain Jawaizeh does not benefit from any municipal services.
The settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo, with more than 40,000 settlers, were built at that time on the plundered lands of Al Walaja. Luxury housing developments that Omar, whose house was divided between those two settlements, has to see every day. The occupation authorities gave him the key to the tunnel that detours the Wall, which he uses every day to go to work, to go shopping or to go to school. Every time his children want to bring a friend home they have to apply for a permit from the Israeli military authority. Omar spends his days in his old van to take his children to school, pick them up or accompany them to play with their friends, tormented by the thought that perhaps one day the tunnel door might not open and he will have to leave.
Nabi Saleh is a little Palestinian village with approximately 550 neighbours, located 20 kilometers northwest of Ramallah, in the West Bank. Since December 2009, the neighbours have been demonstrating every Friday against the looting of their land and of Ein al Qaws, one of their main sources of water sources which for nearly six years has been under the control of the Jewish settlers of the Halamish settlement, located opposite Nabi Saleh.
Manal Tamimi is one of the main activists of this little Palestinian village. Her home has been besieged for years by the Israeli army, which often uses tear gas and rubber bullets against neighbours and their houses.
Around 500 people have been injured in Nabi Saleh, and one hundred neighbours have been arrested. In recent years, the repression has been directed against the girls and boys of the village.
With her long, blond, curly hair and light-colored eyes, the teenager Ahed Tamimi, who was recently arrested for slapping some Israeli soldiers, has become for Palestinians a symbol of the fight against the Israeli occupation. Her family continues to demand justice after the arrest of the 16-years-old adolescent, and for the 14-year-old boy Mohamed Tamimi, who survived after being hit on the head by the force of occupation.