Omar Hajajleh cannot host visitors without the approval of the Israeli occupation army, which needs to open the electronic gate placed at the entrance of his house. It is difficult for Omar to have guests, as they may need to wait anywhere between three hours and a few days for Omar to get approval for them to enter through the electronic gate and access his home.
The Israeli authorities recently approved the construction of a large electronic gate in front of Omar Hajajleh’s home, located in the eastern part of Al-Walajah, Bethlehem. This will completely separate his home from its surroundings as part of the occupation’s policies to seize the village’s land.
Hajajleh told Quds Press that his battle for his home started in 2009 when the Israeli occupation began the construction of the Separation Wall in the village in order to separate it from Jerusalem.
He stated that the wall has completely isolated his house from Al-Walajah, adding: “They offered us Israeli ID cards, but we firmly refused it. They then built a tunnel that would connect us to Al-Walajah.” The family was warned at the time that the tunnel would be closed off within days.
If we had accepted the ID cards, the wall would’ve been sealed and we would have been annexed to Jerusalem. However, we have refused this since 2008 and want to remain in our village with our family and people.
Despite a long battle in Israeli courts to stop Hajaleh’s home from being separated from Al-Walajah, occupation forces have continued their plan and built a metal gate.
The electronic gate is not yet complete but it will have two keys, one to allow the family access to their property on foot and by car, and the other for the Israeli army.
However, the occupation authorities have prohibited the family from having overnight guests, as no one is allowed to remain in the home other than Omar, his wife, and his three children. Omar has also told Quds Press that he and his family have been attacked by the Israeli border guards and arrested 16 times. He noted that his children, as well as his wife who was nine months pregnant, were attacked, causing her to lose the baby.
Furthermore, Omar was in a coma for 90 days in an Israeli hospital due to “a foreign element entering his body,” but he says: “The hospital refused to let me see the doctor’s reports.”
We will stay in our home and will continue to control our land.