Mohammad Hamamdi: I get paid for this.
There was a remarkable moment during my interview with Yehuda Bazak, resident of Avigayil in the South Hebron Hills. He was telling me about his brief conversation with Mohammad Hamamdi who he found cultivating soil on state land in Area C, under Israeli jurisdiction, an act that was against the law. Hamamdi is well known, featuring in anti-Israeli propaganda produced by NGOs opposed to what they see as Israel “occupation” of so-called Palestinian land.
This piece was part of a larger article published in United with Israel on 19 December. I slightly modified the original article and cut it into two separate parts because I believe that this small section merits special attention on its own. You can read the rest of the interview here.
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Q: What can you tell us about Mohammad Hamamdi?
I talk with Hamamdi a lot. He likes to talk. I can talk with him for hours.
He told me that he is actually a politician. He leads the incitement. I don’t know if it started with him or if they found him. An Arab laborer who was working in Avigayil told me that most of the Arabs living in the Avigayil region also have homes in the town of Yatta and they get money for living here. In fact, I have a tape of Hamamdi saying that he is there because he gets money for being there.
In the video, we can hear Hamamdi say: “Don’t worry, someone pays me for this.” Yehuda, for the tape as if he is a sports announcer explaining the action on the field, says that he knows that Hamamdi’s leftist friends pay for this. And Hamamdi repeats that he is getting paid. Finally Yehuda repeats for the tape: “Here we have it. Hamamdi clearly says that there is someone who is paying for this.”