'Azzun 'Atma, Kufr alDik, Sun 15.1.12, Afternoon

Observers: 
Tzvia Shapira and Dalya Golomb (reporting), Translator: Charles K.
Jan-15-2012
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Afternoon

 We entered Kafr ad Dik at 11:30; Hassan, who’s in charge of the water, told us some of the village’s history and about himself.

Together we planned the tour we’ll take the day after tomorrow with representatives of “Mekorot.”

One of the things we want to show the people from Mekorot is the sewage from Ariel that’s released into a wadi that brings it to the olive groves of Kafr ad Dik and Brukin, as well as seeping into the groundwater.  It turns out that a tour like this, which involves entering the town of Salfit, requires complicated coordination that has to be done a few days in advance, as well as joint permits from the Israeli and the Palestinian Shabak.

Hassan took care of all that for us.  While we’re talking – Anat calls (her connections made the tour possible) and informs us that the tour has been postponed because the head of Mekorot had family matters to take care of.  (This is the fourth postponement).

We decided not to postpone our visit but to change the purpose of the tour:  to begin dealing with the issue of the water sources being poisoned by the sewage from Ariel flowing to Brukin and Kafr ad Dik.

When we finished our lengthy, informative conversation with Hassan we left the village toward the settlement of Alei Zahav to see how it’s been expanded, and to see the new settlement being built, “Leshem,” also on ad Dik’s lands:

Construction is proceeding apace, tractors working, some buildings already standing, and a partially paved road leads to the location.  As soon as we stopped on the road to photograph – a car with a revolving rooftop light appeared…and didn’t move until we drove on, and then it followed us.  When we stopped to go back – it also stopped, and the driver asked whether we needed help…We said no.  The car drove on, into the village of Deir Ballut (which Israelis are forbidden to enter) and we returned toward Highway 5.

We continued until the turn to the Elkana seam zone.  We drove to the northern end of the Elkana settlement, next to Hani’s besieged home.  We spoke with him, listened to his complaints – and, unfortunately, were not able to help solve the problems. 

From there we drove to find the location where we had in the past seen sewage from Elkana flowing to the lands of As Sawiya village.  We found it, but as far as we were able to determine the sewage is no longer flowing freely there as it had in the past.  The sewage treatment plant seems to have been repaired, and there was no longer any stench.  The plant may, in fact, be operating.  We decided to return when it’s not raining, to see whether the problem had really been solved.

We discovered an additional new area next to the plant where Elkana was expanding, called “Magen Dan.”  Only trailers are there for now, but there’s already a colorful playground sticking up in all its splendor, for the greater glory of the settler state.

At 16:15, on our way home, we reached the 'Azzun 'Atma checkpoint:  the line is very long and barely moving, like in the bad old days.

 

Addendum:

At the end of the day, at 22:00, Dalya and I decided to cancel the tour we had worked so hard on.  We realized that the representatives of Mekorot had no intention of holding it:

 

After half a year of discussing this tour, and two days before it was scheduled to take place, the heads of Mekorot remembered to inform us that they’re not allowed to enter Palestinian villages other than in a bullet-proof vehicle, and armed, or accompanied by a security person.  When we told them that was unacceptable, that we go to the villages as human beings coming to meet villagers, not as lords or armed soldiers, they replied that they can’t violate the orders of their security people.

 

Again we got proof that the institutional arrangements prevent meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, other than those in which the Israeli “lords” receive in their magnificent offices submissive, servile Palestinian “notables.”  A normal meeting of equals is forbidden.  And again we realized how much the system operates to frighten Israelis so they won’t meet with Palestinians and get to know them:  Kinneret – a Mekorot engineer – who[went out of his way to]really helped בעברית מופיע "להט" – האם זו טעות? increase the village’s water allocation – asked me (innocently), how can you be sure they won’t kill me?

I asked:  Why should they kill you?

The security person told her that Kafr ad Dik is full of terrorists.

What should I have done:  Laugh, cry or scream?

So we cancelled the tour.

A loss to all.