Arrested for stealing water, on the hottest week of the year

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: racism, The Settlements | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments »

Fadel Jaber arrested for "stealing water"

Yesterday, my friend Joseph Dana and I went for a visit in the Palestinian village of Sussia, on South Mt. Hebron. For some years now, Joseph and other activists of Taayush have been helping the local community in the area, which suffers from frequent harassments of the local settlers.

It was a very hot day – the last weeks have been the hottest we knew this year – and a local Palestinian farmer told us of his water problem. Israel has constructed water pipes in the area, but they only serve the army and the settlers. The Palestinians are forced to drive to the closest town, and buy their water in tanks over there. They end up paying 10 times the price I pay in Tel Aviv. And the farmers in South mount Hebron are the poorest of the Palestinian population. They live in tents, some even in caves. They used to have water holes in which they stored rain waters, but access to their fields and to many of the holes in them is denied by the army and the settlers.

With no other option, some farmers were forced to use unauthorized connections to the Israeli water system, running just a few meters from their tents. The Israeli media is calling this “stealing water”. As settler from the area complained to Ynet‘s reporter:

“we don’t have water in the morning. Children want to wash their faces before they go to school, and the faucets are empty. Even a cup of coffee becomes a rare commodity”

When I got back home from South Mt. Hebron, I saw this footage, of a Palestinian farmer named Fadel Jaber, arrested for stealing water.

Read also what the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof saw in his recent visit to south Mt. Hebron.

UPDATE: Spokesperson for the border police told Haaretz [Hebrew] that Jaber and another man were arrested for attacking and disturbing the work of the policemen and soldiers that were dealing with the water theft. The spokesperson added that “the [behavior of] the 5 years old son was planned and staged by the Palestinians. Instead of acting responsibly and taking the kid out of the scene, they chose to engage in cheap anti-Israeli propaganda.”

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Maybe this remark is in poor taste, but watching the heartbreaking cries of Fadel’s son, I couldn’t help remembering the famous ending minutes Bicycle Thief, Vittorio De Sica’s classic film. Watch here from min 5:30, after the desperate father is caught stealing the bicycle.



8 Comments on “Arrested for stealing water, on the hottest week of the year”

  1. 1 Daniel said at 6:28 pm on August 4th, 2010:

    Noam, I watched this video in a TV station here in Brazil. Bad, very bad…

  2. 2 g. said at 1:21 am on August 5th, 2010:

    wonderful allusion

  3. 3 Thiago said at 9:23 am on August 5th, 2010:

    It’s a pariah state in which no one will never be happy…

  4. 4 Egon i Sweden said at 3:09 am on August 6th, 2010:

    I suffer with the Palestinians, but it is hopeful that there are Israelis like you

  5. 5 de zander said at 3:52 pm on August 7th, 2010:

    This is so sad

  6. 6 Name (required) said at 9:54 am on August 12th, 2010:

    Please support the Movement to End Israeli Apartheid as they are working peacefully in the US to make a difference. http://www.meiag.org/

  7. 7 Naser said at 1:03 pm on August 12th, 2010:

    Staged? the reaction of the kid staged… yea!! unbelievable! I mean just when its caught on tape the inhumanity they deal with Palestinians with its suddenly staged.

  8. 8 sophia said at 10:58 am on August 21st, 2010:

    Israel is an inhumane state and with more time ..world would see its barbarity exposed.Its destiny is to live as a pariah state on the power of its guns and america.a sad ending for a great race.