Habla, Huwwara, Tue 24.5.11, Afternoon
13:50 – Habla:
An open barrier and hardly any people. Reservists man the gate. We were accorded a reprimand from a pleasant soldier who asked why we were late and told us that it was very important to arrive in the morning. He also pointed out how good it was that we were coming. When we turned to go another soldier came up to us, apologized and asked if we had been at the more northern gate, at CP 109? We answered in the affirmative. He asked us whether we had noticed that there are separate lanes for Israelis, settlers and Palestinians there. Again we answered in the affirmative. He insisted and asked if somebody was taking care of that. According to him one has to attend to this and there was no problem proving that the segregation exists. A personal comment: such an innocent – as if the Apartheid existed only at the gate…But is was a refreshing change to meet a reservist who cares and doesn't feel comfortable with the situation.
14:20- Izbat Tabib:
We met a rather elderly woman who told us that yesterday about 15 military vehicles had arrived and had begun to fence the road in. And indeed, a curled fence consisting of 5 spools (height over 2 meters) was placed all along the road up to about 200 meters from the entrance to the village. For the completion of the fencing Tsahal waits for the endorsement from the High Court of Justice (a claim had been submitted). The woman also said that a modest demonstration of the villagers (grown-ups and children) had been violently dispersed. The soldiers had sprayed the demonstrators with an unknown material, color of iodine and burning (my daughter, a demonstration veteran, infers from the description that this was mustard gas which is much worse that tear gas). A man from the village told us that he had just now washed and that his skin was still burning – over 24 hours after the injury. 4 inhabitants were evacuated by an ambulance and
released on the next day only. The woman continued and said that during the working day 2 olive trees had bee uprooted and that they had then been buried under stone heaps. The woman said she had not participated in the demonstration but had worked at the grass harvest and had a sickle in her hand. A soldier forcefully snatched the sickle from her and didn't return it. Now the situation is like this: it is not possible to go to work the fields by way of the road, so that a person who wants to work his fields, take care of the trees etc. has to get to the zone on foot, on an unpaved road full of stones.
Again one can burst into singing: "the whole country is barriers, barriers".
A military vehicle waits on the road on the Yitzhar/Huwwara junction.
It is occupied by drowsy soldiers.
15:30 – Huwwara.
At the gas station and at the sweets shop the local inhabitats tell us that on Sunday night soldiers entered Huwwara and threw shock grenades. Caused panic. They didn't leave their houses because they didn't want to confront the soldiers. The locals tell us that lately the Tsahal soldiers tend to irritate them.
The soldiers of the aforementioned CP woke up, went to the entrance road to Huwwara and began stopping incoming vehicles.
At the entrance from the village of Punduk to Jit – a military vehicle blocks half the road.
Also – there is a barrier on the road before the northern entrance to Punduk. 30 vehicles are waiting.
At the southern entrance at the junction with Jan Sapur – there is a military vehicle. Then before Kedumim.
There are two military vehicles at the entrance to Ma'ale Shomron.
At the entrance to Azzun – two military vehicles examines the people entering and departing.
two more military vehicles are added. 17 vehicles are waiting at the way out from Azzun. At the entrance to Nebi Elias and Isbat Tabib – there is a CP in both direction. 50 vehicles coming from the east are waiting. The car queue to the western entrance to Isbat Tabib goes up to the western entrance of Nebi Elias. How many cars are waiting? Tens, hundreds?
An innocent questions: if this is the situation when MKs only think of honoring Josef in his grave with their presence – what will happen when they'll carry their scheme out?
17:20 – the Habla gate is shut. It opens only at 17:45.