Hajj Ziad Muhammad Younes Makhamreh, Bir al-Eid

Hajj Ziad was born in Bir al-Eid in 1957. His family settled here during the 50s after Israel began restricting their grazing areas close to the new border with the state of Israel. In the decades since the ’67 war they have faced multiple expulsions, confiscation of their herds, demolitions, restrictions on grazing grounds, physical attacks and injuries, settler harassment, arrests, and protracted court cases.

Community name:
Bir al-‘Eid
1 household
2 people

Installation year:
2010

Comet-ME systems:
solar micro-grid (0.9 kWp)
1 H2O system

In 2000 the last three remaining families in Bir al-Eid were evicted. A supreme court petition in the name of 20 residents led to a high court decision to allow the residents to return to the village. Five families decided to return. When they returned they discovered that the Civil Administration had restricted their living area between a declared military zone and state lands. Organizations such as OCHA and the International Red Cross provided the residents with tents. In early 2010 the Civil Administration issued 16 demolition orders. The residents submitted building permit applications, but a year later 5 out of 16 tents were demolished.

Despite an injunction protecting the rest of the tents in the village, families began leaving Bir al-Eid because of the restrictions and obstacles they encountered.

Since January 2013 Ziad heads the lone remaining household in Bir al-Eid. He has a herd of 80 sheep, his wife makes yogurt and butter, and they sell their products to clients in Yatta, where his five grown children live. With regard to the connection to the Comet-ME electricity system, Ziad says that it was the most significant change they have experienced. With electricity 24 hours a day, life has become easier, in particular the laundry and production of milk products. Today they have leisure time and can watch television.

Their steadfast presence in Bir al-Eid, where he was born more than sixty years ago, is the only thing keeping the land from being taken over by the nearby Israeli outposts.