'Azzun, Shomron Crossing
Karin L., Shoshi A. Translator: Charles K.
11:00 We arrived at the Siniriya municipality to meet N. and two other young residents. The
village has 686 families and three schools (separate for boys and for girls). In the last year of
school, prior to matriculation exams, boys and girls attend class together.
The sewage problem has been solved – that is, the sewage line from the settlements of Elkana
and Etz Efrayim that runs through Siniriya’s land has been completed and sewage no longer
flows openly as it did when we were here a few months ago.
Water is a problem for them – the village owes Mekorot NIS 1,200,000. The water meter
showing the village consumption is in Miskha. They believe there’s a leak that hasn’t been
located. They want the meter to be placed in their village so they can monitor it. The
municipality’s sole income is from water and electricity charges – that is, the difference
between what they pay Mekorot and the electric company and what they charge the residents.
They use the income to cover current expenses. They’ve stopped paying water bills because
the income from electricity charges doesn’t cover the water bill, and their debt is increasing.
They have been in touch with the Palestinian Authority; it told them to submit to Israel their
request to move the meter.
The olive harvest went peacefully.
Oranit was built on Siniriya’s land. N. said that only two weeks ago the Supreme Court found
for his family and declared that they in fact own the 20 dunums, but they have no way to access
them, even though he has an agricultural permit, and some Israeli Arabs are also prohibited
from accessing them. Since 1992 they’ve been forbidden to enter areas once planted with olive
trees. The prohibition is for security reasons, of course. The settlers must be protected; the
end justifies the means.
We asked what’s happening with the land of one family that for years has been a subject
of a court case involving forgery claims. It turned out that the owner is the father of one of
the other men participating in the meeting. The court found for them as well, because they
proved there had been forgeries. His father, who’s a school principal, had been kidnapped by
a collaborator; teachers who’d been present came to his assistance and chased the kidnapper
away. That’s how he avoided being forced to sign a document relinquishing land owned by his
Since the soldiers have returned to Azzun Atma’s northern gate, near Beit Amin, the only
people allowed through are those with an agricultural permit (or residents of Azzun Atma),
forcing all the Palestinians who used to enter Israel there to cross elsewhere. Residents of
Siniriya who have to access their lands west of the gate drive on the security road. N. says
there’s an additional small gate the army installed in the fence for the residents, but it’s never
The Miskha gate opens during the olive harvest.