'Azzun, 'Isla, Habla, Qaddum

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Nirit H. (photographer), Tikva T., Martine Z. (new member), Harriet L. (new member), Devorkah A. (reporting), Translator: Judith Green





Renewal of operation with a group  of woman at Isla, visit to Kedum, Israeli evil at Habla.


10:00  Isla

We met a group of about 8 Palestinian women at the womens' center;  most of them were acquaintances of Nirit and Nurit from previous meetings with them a few months ago.  The discussion is about teaching children and has been renewed after the war.  By surprise the village head also joined.  He came to take a look and understand and left as supportive and encouraging.  Nadim, as usual, translated and already understands the fine nuances which Machsomwatch women want to communicate at such organizational meetings.


The discussion had been confirmed ahead of time, in order to find out what activities were appropriate for them, what we could do together and how to organize that.  At their request, it was decided to dedicate the meetings to studying Hebrew (and not English, as we had suggested).  It was also agreed that we would carry on the study in parallel with the study of Arabic.  In addition, they asked to learn knitting, so they could make sweaters for their families.  We decided on weekly meetings on Tuesdays and the Palestinian women would find other women from the village to take part.  When we brought up the possibility of going together for a day of fun at the beach in the summer, there was great enthusiasm.  Nirit, Nurit and Tikva will meet with the women weekly.


11:15  ‘Azzun

The exit to the main road is open.  Even the eternal jeep was not there.  The new gate which the army constructed at the opening of the tunnel, at the exit to Tulkarm, is also open.


11:30  Kedum

Last Friday, one of the organizers who heard about the activity of Nirit and Nurit with the children at Isla, suggested that we do something similar at Kedum.  Now we entered the town hall (?) and met A., a music teacher by profession, who has also agreed to be on the town council.  He told us that music as well as sports, exist in the Palestinian extra curriculum along with the formal educational curriculum.  They try to find the talented children, both in music and other fields.


When we talked about the Friday demonstrations, they described for us the 3 strategies which it seems that the army uses in its struggle against Kedum demanding high fines when arrested;  severe smoke attacks in the village; and, recently, wounding of the demonstrators with live fire.  They told us that the condition of the youth who was wounded in his leg last Friday had improved.


A. thinks that the struggle of the residents of Kedum will be successful and, in the end, some solution will be found for the problem of the blocking of the road.  He thinks that the fact that they suffer from the smoke at Kedumim as well will accelerate the finding of a solution.  The last thing that the people of Kedum would consider would be ceasing the demonstrations!


Concerning the joint projects with the women of the village, A.  will investigate with the woman responsible for organizing womens' activities and will tell us about the possibility of meeting with her.


13:15  Habla

There are only  few people carts and vehicles  at this hour.  A young man who seemed worn out tried to cross in the direction of Habla with a horse and small wagon loaded with broken junk.  The soldiers forbade him to enter because his permit was not appropriate, and anyway they asked him to unload the wagon.  The final decision was that he was forbidden to cross.


The soldiers were not happy to see us and, when we tried to find out what was happening, they said it was none of our business and their female commander asked us to move away from the gate.  We moved a bit, so as not to worsen the situation of the youth; that also did not help.  We tried to check with Tammy C. if it was possible to help him.  The soldiers also called zealously, not clear to whom or why.  Meanwhile, the youth, who seemed to be in a panic from what the soldiers said to him, turned around with his wagon, said that he had to water the horse, and when the horse started to run, he disappeared in the direction of road #55.  Before that, he also told us something not entirely clear; in the morning, he went out with his sick father and that now he was returning with the wagon.  One of the soldiers said that he was afraid of the GSS.  Another miserable incident that we didn't exactly understand.


Another Palestinian who was waiting at the crossing complained that the administration gives out permits stingily to farmers from Habla who need to work their land.  In the best case, the permit is given to an older man and his wife, and they need younger people to help with the work and also for the carrying and operation of the agricultural equipment.  And it is known in advance what happens to agricultural land whose owners don't work it for a period of 3 years...