Fatma al-Nawajaa, a local resident of Susiya village, said that “in an attempt to protect the archaeological cave and keep our humanitarian issue alive, I came up with the idea of restoring the cave and turning it into a workshop to display our homemade products. “. traditional products”.
Embroidery, artistic handicrafts, traditional foods made from goat’s milk and cheese, as well as clothing made from sheep’s wool are among the products on display in the cave dubbed “Susiya Exhibition of Palestinian Handicrafts and Embroidery.”
“At first we resorted to marketing our products to foreign tourists to tell them, through our own methods, about our crisis and how Israel insists on driving us off our lands,” he recalled.
Now, the cave has become the main source of income for 30 women to keep their families afloat, she said.
The town of Khirbet Susiya, which has dozens of caves used as living quarters for the locals, is classified as Area C.
According to the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993, the West Bank was divided into three areas, with Area A under full Palestinian Authority (PA) administrative and security control, Area B under Israeli security control. united and the administrative control of the Palestinian Authority. while Area C is under full Israeli control.
“Since then, the Israeli authorities placed harsh restrictions on us, and our area has suffered from a lack of infrastructure and urbanization, forcing dozens of residents to work solely as herders,” the 52-year-old mother of four complained.
“Because of this, many men decided to leave the city and look for other job opportunities in the West Bank, while we stayed with our children and decided to produce traditional products to earn some money for a living,” he added.
“We protect our land from Israeli plans to annex it to their settlements. This archaeological cave proves that we (Palestinians) are the owners of the land,” he stressed.
The unprecedented determination of Nawajaa and his peers has attracted the Ta’ayush Arab-Jewish partnership movement, a “grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to build a true Arab-Jewish partnership,” said Gai Kotavia, an Israeli activist. and Ta’ayush member.
“We organize daily and weekly visits to the Area C territories to protect the locals and document all the Israeli violence to prevent them from wiping the area of its true history,” said the 50-year-old Israeli activist.
“The archaeological caves are symbols of Palestinians fighting against Israeli threats to clear the area from their owners,” he said, stressing that “together we fight for a future of equality, justice and peace to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians”. territories and achieve full civil equality for all”. ■