A Sawiya

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Annelien K., Eldad K., Ada R., (photographing) Ada H. (reporting)

Translation: Hanna K.

As Sawiya.

In the Council offices there is the photographed map of the village. The yellow colour depicts the construction plan of the village which was authorized since 1992, and the blue represents the request submitted in 2007 which expressed the natural growth in the village. The areas of the village which were plundered in favor of the Eli settlement which passes over the adjoining hills suffocate the village from two directions and in the other directions are the adjacent villages (A.R.)

Present are: The head of the village Mahmud Hassan Ahmed, Araffat Mahmud, a peace activist, Annelien and Eldad K., Ada R. and Ada H.

We arrived at the village to hear about the setting on fire of the girls' school warehouse by the settlers of the neighborhood on Wednesday, 20.10.10 at night.
The village which is situated in the C area (Israel dominated region) is surrounded by the Eli settlement ( the neighborhoods of the Eli settlement are strewn on the hills around).
At the village there are about 3000 inhabitants, of which there are 350  schoolchildren. There are three schools: an elementary school for both boys and girls grades 1 to 6, junior high school and one high school for boys and girls.
There exists a project outline for the village from 1992 on an area of about 340 dunam which was authorized, and in 2007 they submitted again a project outline for the village on an area of 1200 dunam because of the natural growth, but this was not authorized. They submitted a request to the Palestinian Authority to transfer the village to zone B, but didn't receive any reply. 
The inhabitants of the village make their living mainly from agriculture (humus, olives and olive oil), about 60 people work at the Palestinian Authority, and about 40%  are unemployed.
A medical doctor arrives from Nablus twice a week and a clinic is open permanently and is manned by one nurse. To get complicated treatments one has to travel to Nablus and sometimes there is a curfew at the old CP of Huwwara for a few hours, and one is obliged to wait. One cannot know in advance.
The olive plot which belong to the inhabitants of Sawiya are scattered in areas out of bounds for Palestinians and they are able to arrive and pick olives only by force of a special permit which obliges them to submit forms to the Palestinian Authority (why, if this is a declared Israeli controlled area?) and after a permit is obtained from the Authority the forms are passed on to the Civil Administration for authorization. With a lot of goodwill the Civil Administration authorizes only 3 olive picking days per hears, and this year the authorized days were the 11th and 12th of November after it will perhaps have rained and there would be nothing left to pick. In recent years, the villagers tells us, during the olive picking the inhabitants of Eli and the nearby settlements would harass them, there were blows and wounded while the army and the police stood looking on – they would interfere only if a settler was hurt (to remind you, the rabbai Arik Asherman was wounded on one of these occasions by settlers).