Huwwara, Jit Junction , Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 13.8.13, Morning
9:15 departure from Rosh Ha'ayin.
On the way to the Tapuah junction we pass by Hares to ascertain that the barriers which were put up there in the middle of the holiday were indeed removed. At the Tapuah junction, in the spirit of the peace talks, new signposts were put up: "New settlements – a new policy". An adequate Zionist reaction on behalf of an establishment called "Heritage – a Movement for Settlement".
9.45 The village of Yassuf. The streets are desolate. We arrive at the council building and meet there with two council members and the bursar. From the beginning of the meeting to its end the hosts recount the details of cruelty occurences which go on since the days of the intifada, mixing events from the past with those happening day by day, in the present. Although the village is surrounded from three sides by settlements – Rehelim, Ariel and Tapuah – the main harassments come from Tapuah, with the full backing of the army.
Breaking of trees, throwing of stones on the village inhabitants are daily events. About 300 dunams were robbed from the village and the trees were uprooted for the welfare of Tapuah, in which lately fieldwork was begun for expansion purposes. The village itself has 1500 dunams classified as B zone. Another area, between Yassuf and the village of Ikaka, is defined as C zone. The settlers of Tapuah coveted one house which was built ten years ago by a family in the village, and claimed it for themselves. The claim of the people of Yassuf against the settlement is stuck already two years in the court of law, without an arbitration.
How do the rulers and the law instances join hands with those of the people of Tapuah? In order to work the lands on which the inhabitants grow wheat and humus and to pick the olives in the zone adjacent to Tapuah, at least 24 days are needed. The governorship allotted 4 days (!) per year: two for current work and two for olive picking. (a request submitted by the villagers to the court of law to allot more working days was erased as if it had never existed). In those four days an agricultural gate is opened between 9:00 and 15:00 only, but in its generosity the governorship allows "detainees" too to go out to work. Simultaneously with the people going out to work their lands the settlers become active: they throw stones on the workers and shoot in their direction. Three people were wounded from the shots and were hospitalized for a few weeks. And what do the soldiers, who arrive when they hear the shots do? They stand on the side and don't interfere.
The settlers don't rest at night either: then they come out for the common harassment actions: the burning of cars in the village, stealing of goats and of the remainder of olives which the villagers weren't able to pick. The settlers also have a "creative" kind of harassment of their own: they spill flour on the lands belonging to the village.
A very serious criminal offence which was carried out by the Tapuah settlers a few years ago was an attempt to poison the well which supplies water to the village. The settlers tied a bottle which dripped poison into the well. Luckily the bottle was found and the poisoning was avoided.
The most serious and offending harassment as far as the villagers were concerned happened in 2009. Then the settlers burned down the mosque and left inscriptions "price tag". The photographs of the burned down mosque hang on the wall of the council house.
Good for the evil man – bad for his neighbor.
11:50 Leaving the village in the direction of the Tapuah junction. On the way there are signposts scattered, announcing the building of new villas in the village of Tapuah. First come first served. What cynicism.
Huwwara is as usual very lively. The CP is still surrounded by barbed wire blockades from all side, as was reported in the former reports.
The way back via the Jit junction is quiet, one doesn't see any military vehicles or soldiers in the area.
12:15 back to the Rosh Ha'Ayin train station. Owing to a failure in Nadim's vehicles we shortened our tour this time.