This is my aunt, my father's sister. She was a blind woman who lived with her husband and kids in the Palestinian village, Zer-ee'n, until 1948 when she was dispossessed by the Zionist gangs and ended up near the town of Jenin, eight miles south of Zer-ee'n. That area became Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. A kibbutz was built by her home town Zer-ee'n and is named Kibbutz Yezrael. You can still see the ruins of her village east of the Kibbutz.

As she got older, her children moved away and her husband died, but she continued to live alone in her tiny shack in the Camp. During the second Intifada in 2001 when the Israeli occupation army was demolishing homes in the Jenin Refugee Camp, one of her nephews went to take her out of her shack. She refused fiercely to leave. She was holding on to her bed with her arms and legs. They kept on telling her that she should leave because the Israeli army was demolishing every home. Her answer was "I'd rather die here than leave. I was dispossessed in 1948, and I am not leaving this place." After several days they went with a Red Cross aid worker and she was carried out to a shelter in the town of Jenin. Her photo appeared in the New York Times being carried out by the Red Cross worker, and I was able to see that photo. In the photo she looked like a Holocaust survivor, small and shrunken on her self.

After a few days in the Red Cross shelter, she was removed to her niece's house in Jenin. She cried day and night asking them to take her back to her home (shack) and they kept saying to her, "the Camp is being flattened. We cannot take you there." After several days when they got the chance, they took her back to her shack. She died 3 days after returning to her shack. She was 90 years old.

submitted by
Muhaideen Batah

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