Ramin and the barrier over the road to the village
Translation: Suzanne O.
General: due to Palestinian complaints we went to Ramin in the Tulkarm district, close to Anabta roadblock.
We met with the head of the village and other residents to hear about the barrier and its influence on their lives.
We drove there in Nadim's car to find out about the complaints that have been received lately by our colleagues.
At the beginning Nadim took us to see the blocked road leading down from Ramin which is 1.5 km long in the direction of Anabta Junction (Einav). It is located between Shavei Shomron and Anabta (Road 57), about 200m away from Anabta roadblock. We made a u-turn back to the roadblock. It is the short road which was at their disposal up to 2001.
All cars leaving from Tulkarm and the surroundings were inspected at the exit. We counted 15 cars in the queue.
On our way we drove onto a narrow and winding road about 12km long from the roadblock to Ramin. The road is not marked on the Carta map or on the 'Shalom Now' map.
This is the alternative, winding road over the hills which the residents of Ramin use these days to get to Nablus and Tulkarm. It has been like this since the second Intifada in 2001.
Raminis located at the top of the hills with a beautiful view. On the way we pass a splendid villa and a huge building in progress which looks like a hospital or a hotel (?). We alighted from the car at the town hall. The mayor, Abu Shadi, and representatives welcomed us cheerfully, coffee was prepared for us. With the help of Ptachya we were able to understand precisely what the residents said.
The village has two entrances and every incident or terrorist attack is used to close the roads to the village. Since the second Intifada the main road leading down to Anabta roadblock has been blocked by earth and stones. Near Road 57 (which passes Anabta) the road has been cut off, and a deep channel has been dug at the end to prevent access to Road 57.
The inhabitants continue to walk down the path with its continuous obstacles to Road 57 and from there to catch taxis to Tulkarm or Nablus.
The interesting point is that they are not inspected and that it does not cause a 'security problem' at all.
All the blockages of the other villages in the Tulkarm district have been removed, apart from the road to Ramin and the road to the village of Shufa.
The problems that the blockage causes:
- High cost of petrol (an extra NIS5 for each journey) and time. The road is very winding, narrow and dangerous.
- 70 students from Ramin are forced to journey back and forth to El Najah every day, as are merchants and those working out of the village.
- It is difficult to get to the agricultural lands by tractor and with agricultural tools. Their lands are located on the other side of Road 57 in the direction of Einav and at present they have difficulty in reaching them.
Up to now all attempts to remove the blockages have failed. They approached the Palestinian DCO which approached the Israeli DCO where they were turned away with 'security arguments', "because terrorists come from the village". People from the "Red Crescent" came, checked them out and did nothing.
People from the European Union came to write a report six months ago, but nothing has happened.
Do we still report deceptions? They made their requests calmly and we fenced about our ability to change anything.
Military patrols in the village
Military patrols are carried out often in the village to catch youngsters. They are invited to the Israeli DCO in an effort to 'work with them'. Anyone who appears weak is threatened with denial of certificates.
The problem of wild boar was raised again; they were brought in by the settlers and freed to cause damage in the groves and to frighten the villagers (the pig is unclean in Islam as it is in Judaism). They told us of an inhabitant who was attacked by a boar. It is particularly frightening for people walking back in the evening from the roadblock.
That is the time the boars are out and about.