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SATURDAY, December 03, 2022
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Young Palestinian man uses TikTok to document extraordinary cave life

Young Palestinian man uses TikTok to document extraordinary cave life

SATURDAY, April 23, 2022

A Palestinian influencer on TikTok documents the extraordinary cave life of his 12-member large family in the West Bank region: milking goats, making clay ovens, herding sheep, and above all, recording Israeli settlers' attacks on local Palestinians.

Adel al-Tell, a young Palestinian man who lives with his large family in a dilapidated cave in the West Bank, has been resorting to TikTok to document his extraordinary cave life.
 

The 32-year-old from Khirbet Zanuta village, located 20 km south of the West Bank city of Hebron, posted his first TikTok video a year ago, soon gaining hundreds of thousands of likes from his burgeoning followers.

In al-Tell's TikTok short videos, his families are seen milking goats, making tabuns (a clay oven used in parts of the Middle East), herding sheep, and above all, recording Israeli settlers' attacks on local Palestinians.

"It seems that the situation here is miserable and no one wants to live in this cave," the young man told Xinhua, referring to the lack of the basic necessities of life such as water, electricity and furniture in his cave.

However, the fact is that "we have enough money to buy a modern house, but we want to stay and live here in order to defend our land against Israeli settlement expansion in our own way," he explained.

Al-Tell now has more than 60,000 followers on TikTok, and the contents he has published in recent months alone have received as many as more than 1.5 million likes.

Members of the al-Tell family have their iftar inside a cave at Khirbet Zanuta village, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz/Xinhua)

"TikTok gave me a lot of space to show the world our lives here, not only the Palestinian heritage but also our main cause: protecting our land from settlers who want to seize it and build their settlements," he noted.

Al-Tell and his family are among some 450 people living in Khirbet Zanuta village, where the majority of the residents live off sheep grazing and the food from the poultry and goats they raise.

Under the Oslo accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli government in 1993, the West Bank region was divided into three areas: Area A under the Palestinian control, Area B under Palestinian civil administration and Israeli security control, and Area C under full Israeli control, which comprises about 60 percent of the total territory of the region.

A member of al-Tell family is seen outside a cave, at Khirbet Zanuta village, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz/Xinhua)

Unfortunately, the Khirbet Zanuta village is located in Area C and has been slated for demolition by the Israeli army in favor of what Palestinians call the expansion of Jewish settlements.

"Our life is very difficult and Israel is working to expel us from our land in order to implement the annexation and settlement expansion plan and to impose its control over all Palestinian lands," Mariam al-Tell, Adel's mother, told Xinhua.

"The settlers deliberately attack the residents of the village, and the Israeli forces set up military checkpoints at the entrances to the village to prevent us from bringing water and other needs back," the mother lamented.

The 67-year-old has always yearned to live safely in her home without fear of demolition by the Israeli authorities.

"We have the right to live on our land and we have the right to bequeath to our children a better future," she said. 

Members of the al-Tell family are seen inside a cave, at Khirbet Zanuta village, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, on April 17, 2022. (Photo by Mamoun Wazwaz/Xinhua)

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