Azza family
عائلة العزة

Protective net Azza family Tel Rumeidasettlement Path closedto Palestinians Al-Shuhadastreet

The Azza Family live on Tel Rumeida hill, just down from the settlement. This location forces them to protect their courtyard with a metal net. Once the path going from Tel Rumeida street was open to everybody, but now it is surrounded by the caravans of the settlers. Today the path is completely blocked and dangerous for Palestinians, due to the proximity of the path to the settlement.

The Azza family lives in their house without having to pay rent to the owner. This is because their presence protects the house from being taken over by settlers. Life has not been easy here. When they first moved in, they spent an entire day transporting the furniture because settlers were targeting them with rocks. All their sons and daughters have been attacked. Once, the settler Ev’at Shalom Alkobi assaulted the oldest son and tried to force a rock down his throat to choke him to death. The son closed his mouth and only his teeth were injured. After five years of debating the case, Alkobi was found guilty and sentenced to five months of social service in a hospital. Three years ago, the daughter Sundus witnessed the settler Etan Flashman attack her other brother, Ahmad,13 years old at the time. He beat him, choked him, and tried to run him down with his car. The son, Ahmad, and his sister were taken to the police station and detained for six hours. Flashman could leave after one hour and claimed Ahmad had broken the mirror on his car. If a soldier had not told the truth, the two siblings would have been immediately arrested.

The main way to the house is closed by military order, and settlers block the alternative route. Now the family must use a third way to reach their house. Settlers have poured water in through open windows, tried to break the glass with rocks, and cut the water pipes. It is complicated to repair any of the damages because visitors are not allowed to come. Youth Against Settlements led a campaign to help the families in the H2 area and bought the family a fence. Sundus used to volunteer for B’Tselem to document the attacks, but the settlers would cover their faces. Since the increase in killings that started in October 2015, settlers have become more dangerous and fanatic, and are armed. The situation is uncertain and some people left the area because of all the trouble, but the family is going to stay. “We have patience”, they say. “This is our land”.