'Azzun, 'Izbet alTabib, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla
‘Izbet Tabib – The protest tent is empty. The schoolyard is surrounded by a fence.
Biyan isn’t in the village; we speak by phone. He says an army jeep appeared yesterday, with a man from the Shabak, drove around near the homes but didn’t enter them. He doesn’t know what they wanted or what they were looking for.
A UN car is parked near the entrance to the school. We approach the driver; he says women are inside. We enter the principal’s office. A teachers’ meeting is underway in preparation for the beginning of the school year Sunday, August 24. The school has 52 pupils, aged 5-15, all from ‘Izbet Tabib. They continue their studies in ‘Azzun.
A doctor and nurse are in the adjoining room. The only medical equipment is a stethoscope – it’s a kind of clinic. The doctor asks our opinion about what’s happening in Gaza. He’s boiling mad.
You Israelis could do more to stop the horror, he says. If only he was right.
‘Azzun – Our friend Z. tells us that two days ago he and a friend were returning from visiting an acquaintance hospitalized in Qalqilya. They drove via ‘Izbet Tabib. A soldier stopped them, asked for IDs. He inspected the car, asked them to get out. He saw Z. trembling, thought he was nervous. They were detained two hours for no reason. Even though Z. told him he was ill, not nervous. That he has difficulty standing for long periods of time. Two hours later a policeman came and released them. There’s no pity, even when they see someone in Z.’s condition; needless harassment.
We telephoned K., in Ramallah. He told us that on Friday a group of residents had gathered in the eastern part of ‘Azzun; the army fired at them. An 18-year-old youth was badly injured by a bullet; he’s paralyzed, hospitalized in East Jerusalem. The unbearable ease with which they shoot at Palestinians on their land.
We continue to Jayyous. An army jeep is at the entrance to ‘Azzun.
Falamya – afternoon
Everyone arriving at the checkpoint is inspected and crosses. The only one detained this morning is the owner of the tractor in the photograph. The soldiers at the checkpoint claim he lacks a permit for the bulldozer. The soldier we spoke to says he called the DCL and didn’t receive authorization. The Palestinian says he always crosses through this checkpoint with the bulldozer. We enter the picture. Telephone calls to the DCL, from the DCL to the checkpoint, and the Palestinian, who’s been waiting at the checkpoint since morning, finally goes through in the afternoon to his land beyond the fence. Everything is so arbitrary that it’s galling. He lost half a day of work. We leave, pleased we were able to make someone smile.
We give two people a ride to Jayyus. They tell us they came from the humanitarian office to the checkpoint a few days ago to inspect permits of Palestinians crossing for the olive harvest. People hadn’t yet received responses. Jayyus’ northern gate opened only today. It was closed during the fighting in Gaza.
13:30 Eliyahu checkpoint. We didn’t lower the Machsom Watch flag. We are asked for IDs and requested to open the trunk. Seven Palestinian cars were detained for inspection in the plaza to the right.
13:35 Habla. A tractor, a horsecart and a pickup truck enter. A car and three people on foot come out. Whoever arrives crosses quickly.
A tank of diesel fuel arrives for the pump. The business of the pump isn’t over yet. Even though there’s an electric cabinet on the wall, the pump is still operating on diesel fuel.
We buy figs and leave for Tel Aviv.