'Azzun, Habla, Tue 2.10.12, Afternoon
The Habla gate is open. The bus carrying the children coming home from school is inspected rigorously and goes through. Six cars loaded with seedlings cross to the plant nursery. A horse cart and five people cross after being inspected.
The gate closes. We continue to Azzun where Petahya arranged a meeting with an activist who’ll update us about the situation with work permits.
Azzun. A.G. welcomed us on his porch. He told us his brother-in-law had submitted applications for 9 people; one was granted and the others never received an answer.
The Israeli DCO limits the number of permits that can be granted by the Palestinian DCO.
Azzun’s lands are surrounded by a horseshoe formed by the settlements of Ma’aleh Shomron and Alfey Mensashe. Residents of Azzun have no crossing gate, so they aren’t able to request permits. The army allots them two days to cross via the security road in order to reach their trees to pick the olives.
There is no access to Palestinian land and olive trees located in Alfey Menashe and Ma’aleh Shomron. When they have a permit they must use the Eliyahu crossing. It’s a long detour and the security inspections are irksome.
We reached the pastoral area where they’re picking olives in Azzun. Seated in the shade of the trees, we listened to our Palestinian hosts describe the difficulties they face daily, how the sewage from the settlements flows past their water tower and pollutes Azzun’s drinking water.
We took A.G.’s information, to try and help.
We left Azzun’s olive groves and the harvesters.