'Azzun, Shomron Crossing

Observers: 
Karin L., Shoshi A. Translator: Charles K.
31/12/2013
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Afternoon
 
 
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 
 
family.
 
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 
 
open.
 
The Miskha gate opens during the olive harvest.