סיור בכפרים: ג'יוס, מחסום פלאמיה, כפר ג'מאל 27.3.2011, בוקר
Eliyahu crossing, 08:00 – People cross without delays.
Nebi Elias, 08:15 – People cross without delays. We drive on to the villages. There are many olive groves along the way.
Jayyus, 08:30 – We talk with Na’im (he appeared at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque).
Na’im says he belongs to Machsom Watch. He speaks fluent Hebrew. Worked “for Jews” many years. He says the fence has almost completely destroyed the village. It’s a farming village; the fence separated the residents from their lands, their source of income. Most of the villagers are prevented by the GSS from working in Israel, and aren’t allowed through the fence. We asked why the GSS prevents them; Na’im said it did so for no reason. He’s been in that status for six years. He can’t understand why, and there’s no one to complain to. He spoke to two lawyers (each wants NIS 2000), but hasn’t yet received any answer. He thinks the settlements are the reason – they want his land. There’s no work today in the village – no industry, no construction, no agriculture. Na’im says he know Israelis from when he worked with them, and doesn’t hate them. But his children, all the young people in the village, come into contact only with Israeli soldiers, who behave brutally – breaking doors, beating children, etc. Soldiers beat his 16 year old son, threw him onto the floor of a jeep and told him they’re going to slaughter him. They took him to jail. When he got out three months later, he was a different person! – he’s afraid of Israelis and hates them. All the young people in the village are afraid of the Israeli soldiers; fear always leads to hatred. The harsh reality makes them hate, not incitement in school books.
Sometimes the 'Azzun gate is closed, and it’s hard to reach their village. They often must wait for hours at the checkpoints (and be insulted). That, they say, they’ve become used to, but they won’t get used to losing their lands! They say the Israeli government wants the Palestinian police to protect the settlers who are stealing their lands. They say they haven’t any weapons – the Palestinian Authority collected them and uses them to protect the settlers.
Yussuf says: “We want to live with the Jews. We breathe the same air, drink the same water, eat the same food, so why can’t we treat each other well. I’m not afraid to speak the truth, since I’ve already lost everything anyway. Now I’m also losing my children, because I can’t give them a good education or a decent way of life. I’m only teaching them to hate.”
Tova talked to someone who told her he’s on the GSS “preventive” list. He paid a lawyer NIS 2000 to get him a crossing permit. He got a job in a restaurant in Ra’anana. At the end of the work day, when he wanted to return to his village, he discovered that the taxi would cost more than he earned. He remained to sleep there, the police caught him and since then he’s again on the GSS list – forever, apparently.
Falamya checkpoint, 09:30 – An agricultural checkpoint. The gate is closed but not locked. Two bored soldiers sit in their emplacement. We continued on a side road, because they’re working on the main road.
Kafr Jamal, 09:45 – We stop at a grocery owned by Nadim’s relative. He tells us that leaflets (in Hebrew, which they can’t read) were recently distributed – something about the fence. They don’t know whether the intent is to expand it (to their detriment, of course, by taking more of their land) or just repair it. If the intent is to expand it, they’ll appeal to the Supreme Court.
Kafr Zabad: Very quiet. There is no one in the streets.
We drove to Kafr Sur, but couldn’t enter because of the roadworks. We returned to Falamya – the agricultural checkpoint gate was open but no one went through, and the soldiers sat idle. We continued along the fence separating the villages from their lands. The landscape along the way was lovely – green, flowers of many colors (we said that if not for the occupation, it would be like Tuscany).
We returned to Israel via Azur.