Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Jit, Mon 18.10.10, Morning
A quick glimpse of the Habla and Eliyahu crossings, olive harvesting in Kafr Tal
The gate is open, people go through in groups of five.
06:50 Eliyahu crossing
More than 20 people still waiting to cross.
A little past the entrance to 'Azzun a Hummer is parked by the roadside and soldiers with walkie-talkies watch those passing. There is also a Hummer and soldiers next to Kedumim.
Many children walking to school on the side of the road with heavy traffic .
At Jit junction we turn toward Yizhar, pass the turn to Havvat Gil’ad and, following the instructions from Zechariah, the liason person from Rabbis for Human Rights, stop by the side of the road to wait for N. who needs help to harvest his remaining olives after most of his trees were burned Friday by settlers from Havvat Gil’ad. The remaining trees are very close to Route 60, and he was worried about them and their fruit. While we wait for N., we talk with A., his neighbor, also from Kafr Tal, who’s picking olives with his family on the other side of the road. He tells us about the large fire on Friday, which burned most of his trees and their fruit. He’s also hurrying to pick the olives on the remaining trees before they’re also destroyed. He tells us about the new olive press in the village, with new Italian machines and about when he worked in Israel, and also gives us tea.
08:00 N. arrives with his cousin, riding on a donkey, apologizing for making us wait. Both are young men. N., whose field it is, lives in Jordan and comes back to the village during the harvest season to pick his olives. His cousin is married and lives in the village. They bring pails and sacks and explain what we should do. The field is full of thistles and large rocks that he said were left there when the road was paved also, of course, many trees that had been uprooted then
We work alongside the two men, talk with them a little and get better at the job…
At 09:30 the men declare a break and invite us to join them under a large tree for a meal of pita, falafel, hummus and vegetables, and, of course, tea with sage. Two young women arrive while we’re seated there, a reporter and photographer from the Associated Press who were sent by Zechariah to interview N. and his cousin. We go back to work and continue picking olives for another hour. The journalists also interview us; they’ve heard about Machsomwatch and were very impressed by the “brave grandmothers.”
By about 11:15 we’d finished picking the olives from all of N.’s trees in this area, and decided to return home.