'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Wed 31.8.11, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Id el Fitr – Festival. Very few coming and going.
Habla, agricultural gate
A vehicle is parked. Many soldiers are present. 4 people leave the inspection building, dressed in their 'Sunday best', "Going to the Police Station" (?) 7 minutes later the roadblock gate opens and the parked car goes on its way. The reason for the vehicle being held up is a mistake in the vehicle licence number in the driver's permit so they had to wait for the vehicle owners to arrive and take it across.
There is light traffic to and from the roadblock of cars, a tractor and people. The gate will remain open until 9:00 a.m., open again at 12:00 p.m., until 1:00 p.m. and in the evening from 5:45 p.m., until 7:00 p.m.
Clear on both sides.
The yellow iron barrier in the village is open. Youngsters sitting near it said that everything is fine, no problems.
The shops are closed, there are no people around. It rained the whole night and now it is just drizzling.
We heard about a new Shabak commander, his name is Rafik, (we wonder if his ethnic group gets privileges for his devoted service) and he sets up a spot roadblock [once every few days, several times a day] at the entrance to the village. He takes young boys of 14, 15, 16 into the Shabak cars and coax them to become informers through threats or enticement (I'll give you a work permit and entrance to Israel – promises he obviously cannot fulfil at his level) so that they co-operate with the Shabak and inform on the inhabitants. Using suitable pressure it is possible to get information even if it is lies but this makes no difference to the Shabak, and then they frighten us saying there are warnings. (See the article published today in the newspaper Ha'aretz about Zigmunt Bauman ' Israelis are afraid of Peace'.) The inhabitants complain of looting of 9600 dunams which were plundered including 7 wells for the settlement Zufin, close to Kibbutz Ayal, Kokhav Yair and Tsur Natan. The council was informed that the fence will be moved westward and they will returne2600 dunams, plus one well only, to be divided between the other adjacent villages: Kafr Jammal and Falamiya.
For them to get to their lands in order to work them there is only one gate (927) at Jayyus, which opens for just half an hour three times a day. The location of the gate takes up a lot of their time getting to their lands.
We drove to Falamiya via Kafr Jammal. The roads are empty, the shops are closed. We reached gate 919 at Falamiya.
We met the head of the village at the dividing fence (a Hadj (pilgrim) who has been to Mecca 4 times) who hosted us. On the security system road two vehicles drive up and down, they observe us and report on their wireless. Gate 919 opens just for the olive picking season 3 times a day: 5:00 – 5:30 a.m., 12:00 – 12:30 p.m., and 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. The final time should be noted: this is when it is still possible to return to the village – there is still plenty of light and much work to do for the olive picking. We recommend going to the gate during the olive picking season to check on the conditions for crossing while it is functioning.
We drove to see the agricultural gate at Falamiya, gate no. 927. The gate is open for cars and agricultural machinery. The inhabitants who have lands beyond the fence must, each period (a month, two months, three, a year – depending on the preference of those allotting permits) request crossing permits at the gate and they can cross only via this gate to their lands, even if prolongs their journey greatly.
We returned via Kur, Baqat al Hatab, Hajja to Al Funduq. At Al Funduq there is heavy traffic and the shops are open.
We drove on Road 5066 in the direction of Emanuel and saw a roadblock at the exit from Haris and a queue of about 10 cars which didn't move at all for some 5 minutes. We went over and, after the roadblock commander confirmed who we are, the queue moved quickly and disappeared. One of the drivers told us that he had waited half an hour "just for nothing". It would be worthwhile for us to turn up there from time to time.
Our recommendation: to set up patrols on the roads between the villages.