'Azzun, 'Izbet alTabib, Jayyus
After access to ‘Izbet alTabib and ‘Azzun was blocked at the beginning of the week and following the night raid on Bi’an’s home we decided to visit and hear what’s been happening to the residents during the last few days.
12:00 ‘Izbet alTabib. The army removed the barrier from the entrance road to the village. Yesterday the soldiers had reinforced it. Some soldiers stand at the junction of the entrance road and Highway 55, inspecting Palestinian vehicles. Karin and Bi’an spoke with ‘Adel, from the DCL,who told them entry to the village had been blocked because rocks and Molotov cocktails were thrown at vehicles driving on Highway 55. That version is somewhat problematic because the entire length of the road is under observation, and if youths really were throwing rocks there should be no problem locating them. Instead they repeatedly decide to punish everyone and restrict the free movement of 20,000 people.
13:30 Azzun. The army removed the barrier at the town’s main entrance. Hassan Shabita, the deputy head of the municipality, wasn’t in ‘Azzun. Mikki spoke with him by phone; he told her things were back to what they had been before.
We drove through the town a bit on our way to Jayyus and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
14:00 Jayyus. We were very warmly welcomed by Mikki’s friends whose daughter had recently become engaged to a Palestinian from Taybe. The mother told us she’d received a crossing permit for the engagement ceremony in Taybe but was detained for three hours at the checkpoint. Her daughter, who was with her, went through with no problem. They also told us that one of the villagers had been arrested last week by security forces.
Abu Az’am soon joined us, bearing two bits of good news. 1) The relocation of the security fence has almost been completed, in the wake of a rare Supreme Court decision from 2009 according to which the defense establishment was obligated to return most of the agricultural land which the fence had cut off. Villagers will no longer be required to obtain special permits to work their land and harvest their olives. 2) Representatives of the village met recently with the “water administration” for the Qalqilya region and received approval to pump water to their fields using electricity rather than a diesel engine. Electricity is cheaper.
15:00 ‘Izbet alTabib. We go to Musa’s for lunch, prepared by Jumana’s skilled hands.
He updates the father of the youth arrested in Jinsafut with information he’d obtained from the situation room about the circumstances of the arrest, and gives us details about medical treatment in Israel for one of his daughters.
16:00 We parted and started back. Four bored soldiers stood in the shade at the entrance to ‘Izbet alTabib. Vehicles weren’t being inspected.
A greater number of military vehicles on Highway 55.