'Azzun, 'Izbet alTabib, Falamiya, Habla, Jayyus, Kifl Harith, Kufr Jammal
Orientation and local meetings
09:30 We left Kfar Saba in Nadim's car. Goal: to show the new and recent members a little of the way of life in the West Bank.
We went on highway #5, by way of the Shomron passage, where no one paid attention to us, naturally. We spoke about the wide and well-lit road built for the settlements, on which the Palestinians have only been allowed to drive for the past few years, and even that only up to a certain point, from which they can return to their villages.
We enter Kifl Haris, whose name seems to be a confusion of the word for dog (kalev), or perhaps the settlers decided this was the source of the name and sanctified a grave which was in the midst of the village, next to the local Moslem cemetery. I found out in Wikipedia that the building called "Nebi Tul Kifl" in Arabic, where the word Kifl is the name Kaleb ben Yafunah in Arabic. It is also thought to be the burial place of Yehoshua Bin Nun, which is called Timnat Serach in the bible. The settlers decided that Timnat Serach is Kifl Haris.
A group of local workers were there, building the fence for the Moslem cemetery, in order to prevent desecration of the graves by the settlers, who come to celebrate memorials at night around the "sacred" grave, while the army protects them, of course.
One of the workers spoke Hebrew, and he told us what has been happening to the residents of the village: The soldiers come in the evening and warn them about the visit to the grave which is about to take place; afterwards, they stand in several places in the village and watch the events. The celebrants arrive at night, singing and beating loud drums, which wake everyone in the village. This goes on until 05:00 several times a month. Considering the mess and garbage around the grave, as well as in the Moslem cemetery, there seems to have been considerable celebrating going on.
There is a sign there from Shomron Army Unit and the Ministry of Religions, announcing the "sacredness" of the place.
We continue over to highway #55, a wide and well kept road which leads, by way of Nofim and Yakir, to Emmanuel. The scenery is lovely, and the massive buildings of the settlements ruin it. At the entrance to ‘Azzun, there is a military jeep. We felt hungry, so we ate falafel in a friendly place (5 NIS, including drinks)....
At Jayyus they have moved the fence, and the Falamya Gate is no longer visible, but the earth is disturbed for several kilometers and it will take years before it will be suitable again for agriculture. One of the six wells of Jayyus was returned to their jurisdiction, and a pipe conveys water to the village. Perhaps this is an end to the contaminated drinking water from the well in ‘Azzun?
In Jamal village we visited the local grocery store and were welcomed with tea and coffee. We were able to chat with the owner in Hebrew. He is careful not to express any radical opinions, and only says that it is difficult for them to witness what the air force is doing in Gaza. He also says that they don't feel any difference between the state of affairs before and after the war.
We passed through Izbat Tabib, the school was very busy and the protest tent is still standing.
At the Habla Gate everything was as usual. The gate was wide open and the inspection was fast. In the afternoon, there wasn't much action.
14:15 We departed.