We drove to the village Jit, following a newspaper report about the harrassment of the villagers by the settlers of Havat Gilad. In Baladiya we met the municipality secretary, and M, who speaks good Hebrew. This is what we heard from him:
The people of Jit were issued permits to plant olives for one day only -- last Saturday. Therefore they enlisted a group of volunteers from Nablus to assist in the planting. The group's arrival was coordinated with the DCO, and M accompanied them all the time.
The planting began in two plots far from Havat Gilad. When they were done, they went up to a plot nearer Havat Gilan, a plot owned by Jit, in which there already are mature trees. The planting there, too, was authorized by the DCO.
When the planting was finished and they started to return to the village, they were greeted by a group of about 40 settlers dressed in white, holding bags of stones. They shouted at the group: By what right are you going up? M replied: This is my land.
M and the people Nablus ran towards the nearest village houses, but even before they could enter them, an army jeep arrived and began to chase them. M called out to the soldiers: What are you doing here? Go and see what the settlers are up to. But they did not pay attention.
The settlers entered the village and threw stones at the higher houses. The gate to the yard of one of them was open, and they entered and approached almost up to the house, in which there were women and children. They threw stones there, too, but all the windows are grated, so they were not damaged.
The buildings at the top part of Jit look like fortresses. They are surrounded by fences and protected by iron gratings.
At the front of the house the car of a guest from the village Madma, who was visiting his family in Jit, was parked The settlers smashed the car windows, as well as those of another car which was parked a little bit lower down.
M summoned our acquaintance, Zeharya Sidi, an activist in "Rabbis for Peace" and in "Yesh Din". He tried to talk to the army, but to no avail. The soldiers told him: Take your men and get out of here.
Meanwhile the police arrived, having been summoned by the soldiers. The policeman walked about, looked around, but did nothing, except to advise the car owner to go to the Ariel police headquarters and lodge a complaint. M said that there is a rumor, without evidence, that when the man went to the Ariel police on Sunday, he was arrested. According to M, the settlers come to village on the occasional Saturday. They enter the village center and call out to the men to come outside and confront them. One arrives by ATV (on shabat!!!), drives around the village and scares the kids.
We left upset and saddened.
On the way back to Haris, via the road linking route 55 with route 5, near Emmanuel, there is a bulldozer opening a road on the hill, while, it seems, uprooting olive trees.