'Awarta, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 11.2.10, Afternoon
"If We Are Not Seen - We Do Not See". The Rabbi Asherman at the meeting at Awarta today.
We went out on our usual route to Huwwara. On the way we stopped at two villages and were exposed to their problems. The feeling which we got was that each Palestinian whom we met and heard his story had enclosed within himself layers of bodily wounds, wounds which included his health, his properly and his natural resources. The injustices of the occupation are detailed in stories of their lives.
The personal meeting gave us new, interesting and emotional contacts.
12.30 Four women in Dalia's car. We go past the checkpoint of Irtach/Sha'ar Ephraim. We decide to enter Kifal Haris (at the circle opposite Ariel) where we knew no one.
Today the checkpoint/ the iron gate is open and there are no soldiers to be seen.
We stop in the beginning at the entrance to a carpenter's shop in the village and begin speaking to Mahmoud G. who owns the shop and who was standing at the entrance. A conversation ensued.
He said that four youths had been arrested lately. He showed us the abusive slogans which had been written on the iron door of his house, on the bullets holes which the army had shot "just so" at his house. He showed us his big toe which had been amputated and since then he has problems with his foot. This happened while there was a commotion in the village and when he tried to flee from the army and was hurt.
We asked to meet the head of the village and he made the connection between us. We got to the top of the village where the village council is. The municipality. Here we met Abed Rachum Buzia who is the director of the council. In a conversation with us he spoke about the commotions in the village which took place on the 20.4.2009 when thousands of settlers ( he said 8000) went up to the graves which are supposed to be the grav of Caleb Ben Yefuna and Yehushua which is in the Moslem cemetery. They broke down tombstones, pipes, lighting installations, cars and windows of houses. 3-4 times a year the settlers go up to these graves . He showed us the thousands of people on his cell phone. M-P-Head, the head of the council went to complain at the Ariel police station but since then nothing has been done and there has been no compensation or repairs. Afterwards he spoke to the 4 who had been arrested and no one knew where they were. He promised to give us their names and ID numbers. Maybe we can find out where they are being kept.
A worrying note. When we returned from the municipality close to the school at 12.30 when the school day was ending 10s of pupils came out, came close to the car and started throwing stones at us. Dalia drove bravely and quickly and we managed to disappear from their sight. The children do not know that we are peaceful Jewish women. We learned not to enter the village at the times when they come out all together on their way home.
Ecological damage in an olive grove. Mr. Buzia told us of the rubbish which has been deposited lately in the agricultural area. One of their specialists says that it is cancerous waste. We went to the olive grove of the village of Haris so see the mounds of rubbish. 3 mounds of industrial waste has been thrown into the grove. Zvia said that these are the remains of chemical industrial procedure, iron oxide & sulfur which seem to her to be dangerous. She phoned a specialist of the organization of "Man, nature and law" to check out the nature of this waste material. (We photographed this by video and still)
Today there are no rolling checkpoints which come and go arbitrarily on the way to Haris.
A young man comes to us who has a utility for washing cars next to the road. He got an order to demolish it "because it is too close to the road" and also confiscated his expensive equipment.
"On suspicion that it was a criminal business." Why? Just so.
Our feeling is that the trend is to demolish every possible way of making a living.
He is now in consultation with the administration and showed us the papers.
This time we help Basama make a living. She is a widow with 8 children. Boma Inbar helped her to open a shop of second hand clothing. Zvia got hold of bags of clothes with the help of a friend from kibbutz Kabri. When we arrived a group of women arrived at the shop and made us sit down to drink with them and speak. This is the first time that we sit in a circle of women (not only the men as is usual) and there was a lot of laughter.
We arrived after we had made an appointment with Moueid - a religious & history student at the university of A-Nagach in Nablus. He speaks Hebrew well. We got to his house which stands next to the graveyard which had been desecrated 3 weeks ago by settlers and ultra-orthodox Jews. As mentioned previously his house had also been taken over by the soldiers so as to "guard those praying." His money and phones were nearly stolen. We "matched" him up with "Yesh Din" and he will help us to make a claim against the army. His family received us with Maramia tea from the garden on a sunny day.
While we were sitting there with the family a group of "Rabbis for Human Rights" arrived with Rabbi Asherman and Zecharia and Hani, the mayor. The conclusion of Rabbi Asherman from his untiring Activities on the West Bank is that we must be seen in the villages. As much as we can. "If we are not seen….we do not see."
We concluded with Moueid who will help us to contact the representatives of other villages in the area of Huwwara. Beita Fuka and Beita Tachta and maybe other villages in the area.
Those that we can get to fairly easily, With these connections we can raise and publish the happenings which infringe on the rights of the villages and the violence of the occupation. Events which the eye does not see while on the patrols of machsomwatch all along the road.
The photos are of the refuse at Kifal Haris and some of the caves at Awarta.
Photos of the meeting with the women at Awarta. Video only and therefore not given here.