Kifl Harith, Qira, Zeta
Qira, Kifl Hars, Zeita
Our purpose was to visit some of the villages we’re familiar with, where there are people we talk with regularly or where we have ongoing activities and where we haven’t been since Ramadan, before the war.
We wanted to find out how they are, tell them how badly we feel about the terrible events of the war in Gaza and also about what happened on the West Bank and express our support for them and for all the Palestinians.
We determined in advance whether they could meet.
10:15 Qira. After a few minutes a number of women had gathered in the club, including both coordinators. They all welcomed us, as usual. They were particularly pleased to see Sally-Ann, who’d led the movement and dance group for more than a year and had developed personal ties with some of them. Rikki helped the conversation (in Arabic) and Na., the young coordinator helped with her excellent English; we spoke about personal topics and about the war.
We expressed our sympathy and told them we’d participated in demonstrations and protests against the war. They’d seen them on television and also knew about the attacks on the demonstrators by right-wingers. We were all sorry we hadn’t more influence.
They told us that some women with relatives in Gaza were terribly anxious throughout the war, fearing for them. N., the older coordinator, said her four sons had volunteered with the Red Crescent at demonstrations at Qalandiya during the war. All four were injured by the army even though their dress identified them as volunteers. Now they’re alright.
In general, they said, since there are no settlements near the village, they’re not harassed, but they noted other villages who’ve suffered because of the settlers and because of sewage flowing on their lands, among them Brukin, Kufr a-Diq, Bani Zar, Kufr Eyn and others.
They responded happily when we asked whether they want us to continue our activities. They want to continue learning English, and they very much want to continue the movement and yoga classes. They suggested beginning again after the olive harvest. We promised to return and also try to join in the harvest.
11:30 Kifl Hars. We visited our friend A. We spoke a bit here also about the war, and about the situation, and expressed our anger and sympathy. He knows Israel very well and always speaks very moderately. Today he said (in Hebrew), without going into much detail, “We thought we could manage to live side by side, but evil people decide what will happen”.
He said that during the war the army didn’t enter the village and people weren’t arrested (as sometimes happens there).
12:00 Zeita. We’d particularly intended to meet F., our pupil, who’d just given birth to her eighth child, Muhammad, and see the kindergarten M., another of our pupils, had opened at the beginning of the school year. But because we ran out of time we only visited F. Some women were also visiting and we didn’t talk about other things.
Our general impression was that the mood in the villages was not great. The localities and the roads seem poorer, the people more disconsolate.
12:40 We started back. A military jeep was parked on the road up to Hars.