Sequel to army's actions on 24 Jan in Azzun
Azzun, Tuesday, 8.2.2011
Meeting with three of the people who were injured, according to their evidence, during the breaking into the village of the army on the 24.1, arrest of the family of a wanted person on the 8.2, access to the agricultural land, report from the head of council of Hirbat Assla about the opening of the gates, and permits.
11:00 The Municipality building at Azzun
The wanted person isn't there
Our energetic acquaintance Hassan (the Municipality's PR person): "Last night soldiers broke into the house of a wanted person. When it transpired that he wasn't in his home, they arrested in his stead his father, a 71 year old person suffering from a heart disease and his 28 year old brother. Those two are still detained. While searching, they entered at 3 o'clock in the morning three other houses that have absolutely nothing to do with the wantedperson and removed their inhabitants to the street, including the 80 year old mother of the mayor, although they knew exactly where the wanted person's house was…."
Up till the time of the conversation the wanted person wasn't found.
We stressed the importance of the photographed documentation. Hassan and the mayor are aware of this, but it is difficult to restrain the women who refuse to stand by and watch the demolition and then hurry to put things in order and to erase the signs of the brutal penetration into their house.
Later we heard the stories of three of the people who were injured during the intrusion of the army into their houses on the morning of the 24 of January, according to them.
They are attached to the report of the 25.1
Another matter: how will the lands be cultivated without a human presence and where will the livelihood come from?
(A propos – the occupation. The occupation. The occupation.)
The testimony of Rashad Abdul Rahman Suleiman, the head of the local council of Issla.
The area of the village land beyond the fence extends over 2500-3000 dunams. Through gate 1231 Rashad is supposed to reach his land. The crops are olives, almonds and prickly pear cactus. In the past this gate was opened three times a day at 6:00, 13:00, and 16:00. Recently the gate is opened only in the morning and in the late afternoon, and they ask that the gate be opened at noon too. So the schoolchildren would be able to help their families. In the past, tractors were allowed to enter into the area. Now it is forbidden.
The lands are registered on his name, but he has no possibility to process them. He and his brother cannot obtain authorizations. In the past he got an authorization for 6 months but it's been a month that is wasn't renewed, and his brother is already six month without the necessary authorization. His sister's husband and their children got authorizations for two years, although the land is not registered on his name. Now the area is neglected, covered with weeds. His sons did receive the authorization, but it is useless. His sons are taxi drivers, not farmers. They obtained the authorization only because those who issue them know that they will be useless. As head of the local council he submits requests for authorizations. Out of 20 requests only 5 have been granted. Another time out of 20, only 2 were granted.
13:00 The lands of Hassan
At the south eastern outskirts of the town the lands of Hassan and of many other town residents are separated from the town by the barbed wire fence of the Maale Shomron settlement. The only approach to them is up a very steep path of some tens of meters, a climb on a very high stone wall (terrace?) and a narrow passage through a gap in the fence, that is to say only on foot and for very fit people. This is how they grow olives and other crops. The settlers and their security personnel prevent the entry of the Azzun inhabitants entering their private lands, in the way they used to reach them in the past.
We visited the family of the wanted person (see above, Hassan's testimony). The father and the son are, as aforesaid, held as hostages at the Eyal Passage. They were taken in the middle of the night. The father (according to his ID card is 71 years old) suffers from high blood pressure and heart problems remained in custody without his medicines (!). We contacted the DCO and the humanitarian center with details and ID card numbers a few times, to protest against people being arrested, and especially and elderly and sick person, while they are not accused of anything, only, according to the family, to put pressure on a grown up son who is wanted.They checked and said the matter was being dealt with. The next day we heard that they had finally been released.
We went up to the roof of the house of one of the persons who, according to himself was visited by the army two weeks ago. We saw a spacious service room which looks as if it was very orderly before the search. We video-filmed Adam telling what had happened in his house. Adam in his house, in the well groomed living room:
"Because of my business I travel to Turkey very often. But to the neighbouring village I am forbidden to go. It's a lie that the checkpoints have been abolished. They are still active. Today there are more mobile checkpoints. You eat and drink and travel without restriction. My 12 year old son has never seen the sea. You are mistaken if you think that this situation will remain forever. Things can change.
You think that you live in paradise. But you don't."