'Azzun, 'Izbet alTabib, Habla, Imatin
10:30 We left from the Rosh Ha’ayin train station.
Highway 55. Past Nabi Ilyas we saw two military armored vehicles heading in the opposite direction.
‘Izbet alTabib. It’s still blocked by an earthen berm and concrete barriers. Taxis park beyond the berm. On our way back we saw two soldiers standing at the blocked entrance.
‘Azzun. The entrance is blocked by a yellow gate & concrete barriers. Many minibuses and taxis at the gate.
11:00 Imatin. The women already await me in the classroom. Nine came. Some are accompanied by their small children. Schoolchildren and those in kindergarten are all on summer vacation. There’s a festive atmosphere. The women are particularly well-dressed. Two told us their delicately embroidered dresses were bought in Mecca. One of the children, around three years old, is dressed in festive white clothes and an embroidered white skullcap. They told me that’s what’s worn on the hajj. His mother’s three sisters are on their way to Mecca, which is why she and her son are dressed up. We discussed the trip and the experiences of the women who’d already fulfilled the hajj commandment.
Dafna and Saraleh are with me. I told the women both of them teach Hebrew in ‘Azzun. We had to cancel the class because of the closure so they came with me. We briefly discussed the situation. One woman, with relatives in Jinsafut, reported that soldiers suddenly appeared at night recently and took youths (shabab) from the village for interrogation. They were returned the next day. Imatin is relatively quiet. They said last night the army showed its presence; four Border Police soldiers appeared but didn’t enter homes.
Ramadan approaches; they aren’t letting this past week’s difficult events cloud the festive atmosphere. They’re cleaning, burnishing their homes; there’s great excitement. They told us how much they love this time of year. We discussed their holiday customs and activities. Next month they plan to visit Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The discussion flowed; Dafna and Saraleh also participated. We talked for almost two hours.
We finally left, parting warmly, in friendship. We plan to contact them again after the fast and the holiday that follows. As we left some of the women asked Nadim to help them arrange permits for a beach day. They still hope for a solution.
13:20 Habla gate. The vehicle gate is open wide. Trucks and carts with saplings went through unimpeded. We saw no one crossing on foot. They must have entered before we arrived.
The old, rusted water tank on the pump house was apparently full. There’s a serious leak; a great deal of water goes to waste.
13:40 Back to Rosh Ha’ayin.