Tue 28.9.10, Morning
Unlike our circuits during the last few months through these places, this time we saw more people in the streets and got the impression that the people we spoke to felt less despairing and sad.
On our way toward Ariel we saw a large Israeli truck carrying bags of cement.
10:00 Hars – We stopped to speak with some people seated by the side of the road. We’d already met one of them, a shop owner, a few times. One of them told us that recently soldiers have been erecting flying checkpoints between here and Kifl Hars almost daily, stopping people, particularly the younger men, inspecting their IDs and searching them for weapons and explosives. Sometimes they detain them for a while before releasing them.
We asked what was happening in the village about the olive harvest. They said they intend to use the closure (our holiday) to work. They told us that settlers from the adjacent settlement, Revava, harass them when they’re picking, especially one of the villagers whose vineyard is near their houses. In response to our question, they said he’s in contact with one of the people organizing assistance to the Palestinians during the olive harvest.
Kifl Hars – We visited the owner of the clothing store whom we’d met on previous visits. He said that his business, as well as that of other village merchants, is poor because the residents can do their shopping in the towns. He was optimistic nevertheless, unlike in previous months.
Qira – On our way we saw some people picking olives. We again entered “the women’s shop.” The owner was busy with customers but recognized and welcomed us.
Continuing toward Zeita, on the left-hand side of the road we saw an excavation to lay a cable, apparently for electricity or phone. Not water.
Jama’in – (Groups of people sit by the road there also) We went into the local council building to meet the local council head or his assistant. We were particularly interested to hear what was happening regarding the olive harvest, because most of the village lands are on the other side of Route 5, and in prior years, because of barriers erected by the army, the villagers weren’t able to cross with cars and agricultural equipment.
The local council head and his staff weren’t there because they were accompanying a group of visitors from the United States to a site in the area. Some people joined us meanwhile, and the treasurer invited all of us to his office. They intend to begin the olive harvest in the next few days, and in response to our question said that one of the residents is in contact with activists who assist them in case of harassment by settlers. One of the local council employees told us that about a month and a half ago a settler named Simcha who was armed brought his flock of sheep down to one of the villager’s land, stole olives and purposely broke the branches of young olive trees. He complained to the Qalqilya and Salfit DCO, and was told that if he has problems he should get a lawyer and file a complaint. We exchanged telephone numbers, in case the harassment continues.
Another problem that greatly bothers them is the wild boars that come onto their lands, endanger them and also bring fleas. That’s a big problem, especially these days when they try to begin picking olives before dawn and run into the animals. The Palestinian Authority gave them 1 kg. of poison for the entire village, but it didn’t solve the problem. [Isn’t that dangerous for them and the environment?] We promised to find out whether someone can help them.
Inabous – We stopped, as usual, at the second-hand store. This time only one woman and a few children were there. The eldest daughter still hasn’t received a permit to visit her husband who’s imprisoned in Israel. She applies to the authorities as the beginning of each month, and has been met with refusals for half a year. Her son who’d been imprisoned has been released.