A man of the village of Furush Beit Dajan stands before the mud brick structure that he and his family were forced to live in after their home was demolished. Having destroyed their home, the Israeli civil service have prohibited the family from making any repairs to the dilapidated farm buildings they now have to inhabit.
He told me how one of his sons, aged five, was recently bitten by a poisonous snake while he slept. The snake had entered through one of the many holes in the building. The father rang the hospital but on hearing his location, the person on the end of the phone said, ‘Sorry, no Arabs.’
The father attempted to drive his son to the nearest emergency hospital, at Nablus, but was blocked at an Israeli military checkpoint and forced to return home. His son died later that night.
I cannot imagine how someone can retain their sense of humanity after such an incident. As we sat over sweet Palestinian tea, the father told me he did not want retribution. ‘All I want is the right to build, and access to water and electricity’, he said.
Out there it seemed to make sense, but having returned to Britain I am more and more bemused by the stoic humanity of the people I met in Palestine.
Image and text © Josh Jones 2008.