Kufr Thulth, Sun 23.12.12, Morning
Visiting villages: Kafr Thult, Azawiyya, Mas-ha, .
The head of the village has no information about how many permits were issued for the olive harvest and how many people were refused permits because the farmers contact the Palestinian DCO directly. They want to postpone the hour the gate opens during the winter from 06:00 to 07:00 because it’s still dark at 06:00, and dangerous to move around. They also complained that during the olive harvest the gates opened only twice a day. We spoke with the new head of the village. He intends to consolidate the requests for permits next year so it will be easier to deal with them – as much as possible – and also promised to provide us with a list of people currently blacklisted. His goal is to encourage jobs and enterprises in the village and says that Kafr Thulth is now one of the more economically sound villages, with one of the lowest unemployment rates on the West Bank.
Many farmers attended the meeting with the head of the village to present their complaints, some of which are old and had been raised before: Muhamma Qadus, from whom 40 dunum were stolen because the fence at Azzun Atma was moved; others not permitted to reach their lands; the gate opens too early during the winter; the rains have eroded the road the army paved to the Magen Dan gate and it must be repaired.
We met with our acquaintance, the outgoing head of the village, who is still involved in running the village in an advisory and supportive capacity. By the way, the village head of Mas-ha is a voluntary position, so the occupant must also make a living, and he was working when we arrived. At the end of October, with the approach of the olive harvest, those blacklisted were invited to meet with ‘Adel to see what the reasons were. No one showed up. At one point during the harvest those with permits were called to come pick, but some didn’t show up. There’s no data on how many people received permits; the village head said he’d ask again over the village loudspeakers; people who’ve been blacklisted should inform the village head, or tell him why they didn’t show up for the harvest. We looked into the dates of the work supplementary to the actual harvesting; the Palestinian expert says they need about 20 days to prune between 20.1.13 and 10.2.13, and about 15 more days to plow between 13.2.13 and 1.4.13. We’ll talk to ‘Adel about it, ask him to consider their needs favorably.
All that is part of the Palestinians’ tsumud effort, their refusal to abandon their land, but the tremendous injustice of the security fence which doesn’t follow the Green Line and robs them of their land remains unsolved and leaves its mark.