Translation: Suzanne O.
We were invited by Munir, our friend from Borin, to help him pick olives in the plots in the village in Area C.
Munir organised four groups of children for days out at the beach during the summer. He also works as a reporter on the ground for 'Yesh Din' in the surrounding villages. Since then we have become firm friends with him and his family.
As we know, the village of Borin has suffered from violent plots during the picking season (and not only then) which are still ongoing; Munir was injured two weeks ago after being beaten up by settlers.
While he was picking in the northern area with 4 family members, in the 300 tree olive grove located beneath the Bracha settlement ('Givat Arusi), 30 settlers came down from the settlement, threw stones and glass and attacked them. It was 10:30 a.m. and they had not yet managed to pick much. The olives which had been picked were stolen. They are still not permitted to pick in the area ('Yesh Din' is dealing with the complaint which was made to the police).
Munir showed us blood curdling photographs which he took during the attack two weeks ago.
Since this attack they have been unable to obtain permits to work there. The army gave them just one day to pick in the areas which are located outside the village houses. (What is considered to be Area B.) All of their approaches to the authorities, etc., to obtain permits to pick there – have been in vain.
Why? Because the area borders the settlements which threaten both sides of the village: Bracha and Yitzhar!
The trees on the periphery of the village have been cut down, burned or stolen. On the southern side (in the direction of Yitzhar) all the olive trees have been burned. The only trees left are those located in the area between the village houses. That is about one third of the total trees in the olive groves.
It should be noted that most of the village residents are unemployed and their only livelihood comes from the olives.
We continued to pick with the family: women, men and children. We spread out the plastic sheets under the trees and this was a good time to talk, to laugh and to have a Palestinian-Felachin meal in the heart of nature. In Tel Aviv the khamsin is oppressive but in the hills of Borin, near Nablus the air is clear and a gentle breeze accompanied our work.
We asked if we could see Ahmed, the sweet child who endeared himself to us at Huwwara roadblock, and while we were remembering him we met him in the street. We invited him to the picking day and he joined in happily and sent regards to all his friends from those days.