'Azzun 'Atma, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 30.5.13, Afternoon
Translator: Hanna k.
1420. Road no. 60, on the way to the Huwwara CP,
we saw smoke rising in the mountain region,
between the village of Assira al Qibliya and the
settlement Yitzhar which is situated above it,
and whose satellites extend, as is well known,
over the entire ridge. A smell of fire and smoke filled the whole region. In order to get there one has first to pass through the village of Burin and from there, under Road No. 60 which passes on an upper bridge, one can reach Assira al Qibliya.
1435Therefore it was possible to pass first through the Huwwara CP which is adjacent to the village of Burin. Two military jeeps parked in the parking lot (near the former CP which is not in use at the moment). There were no soldiers at the checking points. A soldier watched over the hitch-hiker station at the entrance to the settlement of Beracha.
1455 Assira al Qibliya – there is fire in the fields between the village and the settlement.
Masked settlers are seen walking about with disturbance while the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces stand next to them and enable them to move without hindrance. A Palestinian vehicle for fire extinguishing arrived at some distance from the fire but we were told that the army prevented it from continuing.
We stand near the villagers. A stone is thrown at us from the direction of the settlers, as well as a smoke grenade. A flight towards the house begins but then there is a rest and we continue standing opposite the soldiers and the settlers who go on moving around the area without being stopped.
On the left, in the direction of the top of the hill, the settlers try to extinguish the fire – it seems they are afraid it will reach their fields. The army enables them to extinguish the fire. A line of soldiers stands opposite the Palestinian crowd and does not permit them to approach the fire and the settlers. An armed settler is seen standing along on the edge of the ridge, on the right, near a big fire focus, and two soldiers stand not far from him. It seems the soldiers are more interested in the Palestinians (where we too stand) and perhaps take photos of the people. On the top of the hill one sees a military vehicle and many settlers around it.
The wind grows stronger and so do the flames. A few soldiers try to extinguish the fire.
Three Palestinian policemen arrive and the soldiers let them join the soldiers in an attempt to extinguish the first. An elderly Palestinian begins piling up ears of wheat from a field which is in danger of burning as well. Young boys join him and collect the grains. One could compare the Pentecost festival which was celebrated two weeks ago in Israel with the gathering of wheat of the Palestinian boys, under the threat of the first which the Israeli occupation brought on them.
on our way to theZa'tara CP, when we returned through the village of Burin, we saw a fire extinguishing vehicle from Israel driving in the direction of Yitzhar settlement. It took some time for it to arrive. We were told that the arson began at 13.30. A villager told us that unless the villagers had arrived and stood at the edge of the village opposite the settlers, those would have come down and entered the village itself.
1620 Za'tara CP – a few soldiers are on top of the watch tower, seemingly with the intention of learning. A military tender stands outside the parking area, near the fence (at the west side).
At a quick glance it seems that the soldiers removed banners from the CP fence (or perhaps this is a wild guess).
1640 – A military tender parks near the bus station of Haris.