Sun 8.5.11, Morning
On our meeting to express solidarity with the residents of Izbat Tabib (between the roads), 8.5.11
We were invited by Palestinian activists to join in weeding and clearing brush from the area that will be taken from them “for the benefit of” a new separation fence which will prevent them from reaching their lands.
The fence will be erected on the north side of the local road from Izbat Tabib to 'Azzun (parallel to Route 55). Why clear the area now? Because from the minute the fence is erected they will only be able to reach their land just prior to the olive harvest, and won’t be able to carry out any of the necessary work before then. So now is the time to get to work, and quickly.
Dvorka and I got there at about 11:30. We met Chana Aviram and Ada Heilbrun.
Others joined us later – among them Karin, and Ronny Shalit.
There were also volunteers from abroad who were a big help in clearing the area (which is very hard work), while we took photographs and “assisted.”
I interviewed Musa, a local resident, on video (he’s Tami Cohen’s friend), and Su’ad, an activist from Qalqilya whom I recently met at a gathering in Izbat Tabib and the small demonstration in Habla. In this, our third meeting, we became friends, and both of us hope to maintain this friendship.
In brief: The army claims children are throwing stones at vehicles on Route 55, from this area, which is literally impossible. For that reason, they’re erecting a fence along the local road and stealing all the farmland between the two parallel roads, planted with olive trees and vegetables. The struggle will continue, and we’ll be called on again.
It was interesting to see that only women were working there. They weeded and cut brush with a sickle, piled up the cuttings with pitchforks and placed the huge bundles on their heads to carry them up the hill through the boulders, where there was no path, then loaded them onto a cart standing on the road. Some of the women were old. We asked Musa (who sat with us in the shade of the trees…) where were the men; he said they were working.