Izbet Tabib, Habla, Eliyahu crossing
Visit at Izbat Tabib – a small village in the C Zone
Inspectors of the Civil Administration visited the village in September, photographed its houses and issued a demolition order for the building of the elementary school which had been build in 2005 with the money of the residents, the Palestinian Authority and a donation from the European Community. The destruction of the school will leave over 50 girl and boy students outside the educational system.
Habla - We arrived early and went to visit our friend at the plant nursery.
The 6 persons waiting for the gate to be opened don't know that the opening hours have been changed lately. From the village side one can see 10 people waiting. In the meantime the Palestinian farmers explain to us that the opening of the agricultural gate for only two hourse in the morning is an injustice as it doesn't allow them to finish the picking (these days it is guyavas and tomatoes) and to get to the market with their products on the same morning. "What kind of life to we have if every day, since tens of years, we see soldiers with weapons " a elderly man adds.
The gate is being opened. The military policeman replies to our query saying that the people of Habla know about the change in opening hours and shows me a small signpost which hangs inside the CP but not on the outside of the fence.
The first group of five enters the checking post. The checking process is awfully slow.
A second group of five enter.
A tractor, a lorry loaded with tree plants and a horse driven cart leave the village.
The first group of five leave the village, among which there is a woman and a child.
A military vehicle arrives from the system road, two soldiers mount on its and it proceeds in the direction of road 55.
two children's buses arrive. The drivers enter the checking post and the soldiers get on the buses to check them. We leave and proceed in the trail of the two buses to the Bedouin village Arb A-Ramadin to deliver parcels of children's clothes.
The opening hours of the Habla Agricultural gate:
Morning – 07:00 – 09:00
Noon - 13:15 - 14:15
Evening - 17:30 – 18 :30
Eliyahu CP – Three cars are waiting on the lane to be checked
– Izbat Tabib – The hut of the demonstrators against the demolition which has been erected in front of the municipality/school is empty. The building is under lock and key. Everybody is at work
We are looking for M. His brother who happens to be there offers his help and leads us to the family orchard. We meet M., his mother, his wife, his two children and the donkey at the olive picking.
M. and his son on the donkey at the olive grove The baby in an improvised play pen in the olive orchard
M.'s wife and their two children during the tea break at the olive harvesting
As is the custom we are invited for tea and when the kettle is on the fire M. tells us: the village was built at the beginning of last century near the Ra'anana junction and in 1948, after they were expelled from their lands, the inhabitant settled in Izbat Tabib, and in other villages in the vicinity. The area was
Declared as the C area and no building permits were issued to the residents. In fact all the 45 houses built in the villages have no permits. Demolition orders were issued for many, among which also to the M.'s new house.
M.'s daughter, six years old, was born with a serious defect in her ear, and from the age of a year and a half she underwent a great number of operations. Next month she is due to undergo another operation at the Ichilov hospital, in the hope that she will be able to hear. The operation is very expensive and the Palestinian Authority pays 60% only.
A road which by-passing Nebi Elias is planned to be paved for the settlers. It will connect Alfey Menashe with Ma'ale Shomron. On the right side of the road a few houses in the village will be demolished and on the left side olive trees will be uprooted. An enlightened occupation!
suggests we buy from his olive oil from the last olive picking, and we agree gladly. We drive to his house and see the new house, attached to the old one, the building of which has not yet been completed, and his three beautiful daughters.
we depart and return in the direction of Alfey Menashe, to check on the CP, according to Daliah's request.
Eliyahu CP. An enormous dog and two dog trainers wait for victims. As my camera has been taken from me at my recent visits, and I was threatened that I shouldn't date photograph state secrets, I didn't take my camera out. Military zone…
The CP on the road to Ras A-Tira, on the road leading to Alfey Menashe.
Although the yellow arm seems to be open no soldiers are to be seen at the CP and there is no signpost announcing the opening of the gate during the olive picking period.