A Palestinian Woman defies the Separation Wall

Samira Saleh Khleef, from Azzoon Village, is one of the thousands of Palestinians standing in the face of the racist Zionist expansion plans.

When we talk about originality, resilience, resistance, hold on to the land, building nations, we are referring to real Palestinians living in a constant battle of survival near Israeli settlements, and living on both sides of the racist separation wall.

Mrs. Samira Khleef, a Palestinian born and raised in Brazil from a Brazilian mother. Despite having a Brazilian citizenship, she lived with a strong connection to her Father’s homeland, Palestine. She chose to marry a Palestinian from Azzoon village - Qalqilya Governate, and she agreed to go back with him to Azzoun where he worked in the Israeli labor market.

Life went on, and she became a mother of six, until the second Palestinian Intifada, end of the year 2000.

The family challenges increased after the Israeli occupation government applied group punishment policies against the Palestinian people, shutting down the Israeli labor market in the face of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian workers, in order to starve the Palestinian people and force them to accept its policies. Mrs. Samira’s husband found himself jobless, with no income to secure his family’s basic needs

Then, Mrs. Samira decided to take action, and work side by side with her husband, she believed in the importance of female participation in all life aspects. Despite the economic and political challenges, Samira found a light at the end of the tunnel for herself and her family through joining the Saving and Credit Cooperative Association in Qalqilya, hoping to achieve her goal and obtain a financial loan to start her agricultural project and support her family.

Upon completing the requirements to join the association, Mrs. Samira applied for a loan of 750 Jordanian Dinars to create an agricultural plastic house in 2004. As soon as the plastic house was established, and the crops ripened, the separation wall extended to her village, Azzoon. The family found that their plastic house was behind the wall. This was a huge disaster for her and her family as this was their only hope to survive poverty.

However, the family did not give up, and bravely stood up to the injustice of the Israeli occupation. They insisted, with great determination, to get to their plastic house and land behind the wall.

After a long struggle, they got the permission to reach the area behind the separation wall, where their land and plastic house.

The family, quickly renovating the water system pipes that the Israeli bulldozers destroyed, fixed the plastic cover, and looked after their crops. Once the crops ripened, another problem arose, the Israeli soldiers did not allow any means of transport for crops preventing Mrs. Samira from delivering the crops to Azzoon’s market through the gates. Again, she did not give up, Mrs. Samira decided to hand carry the boxes of vegetables personally and deliver one by one to the gate, she managed despite all difficulties.

Days passed, and Mrs. Samira became used to that life, and its difficulties, she kept challenging the soldiers until they knew her face very well, and would prepare themselves every time she comes to a battel verbal or by hand.  Finally, she forced them to accept her daily commutes through the gate to continue taking care of her farm.

Not only did she keep her plastic house running until now, Mrs. Samira kept on elevating her family’s level of income, she got a new loan to invest in a new land outside the separation wall. She is now considered as one of the strongest Palestinian pioneering women who will not give in to the practices of the occupation.