Farmer story – Jihad Al-Sarras – Beit Jala

Category: Campaign Farmers' Stories Created: 01 July 2012

Jihad Sarras farmerJihad Al-Saras - Abu Jeries (65 years) was born in Al Khader village in 1948, the same day the Israelis forced the people of the area to leave their homes and confiscated their lands in order to construct the 'Kfar Etzzion' settlements' block. Jihad owns 50 dunums of land which is now surrounded on three sides by the Etzzion block and bypass roads. Over the years Jihad has been subjected to ongoing harassment from the Israeli settlers and military. They have stolen his tools, broken his gates and uprooted his trees. Recently, he built a toilet next to the already existing house. However, the Israeli authorities are doing everything in their power to have it demolished, including giving him a demolition order for the whole building.

Furthermore, the Israeli settlers and military have tried to confiscate Jihad's lands to the west, which consists of more than 5 dunums, to build a bypass road for the settlement. Over the past four years the Olive Tree Campaign has planted 400 olive trees on this threatened land to protect it. As a result of the combined efforts of the OTC and Jihad’s resilience the land is maintained and kept being his own.