Huwwara, Jit Junction , Yasuf, Za'tara (Tapuah)
9:15 on the way to the Za'atara CP (Tapuach Junction) we pass by Harriss in order to be sure that the CPs that were set up there in the middle of the holiday (E'id el Fitr) were really taken down. At the Tapuach Junction, in the spirit of the peace talks, there are now signs: "New Settlements - A New Policy". That is certainly a fitting Zionist response from the group called "Nachala - the Movement for [Furthering] Settlement".
9:45 Yasuf Village. Driving through deserted streets we reach the building of the Town Council and there we meet two members of the Council and the Treasurer. From the beginning of the meeting until the end, our hosts tell us story after story of events of cruelty that have been going on since the days of the Intifada. They consistently mix events that happened in the past with those that take place now every day. Even though the village is surrounded on three sides by colonies -- Rechelim, Ariel and Tapuach - most of the victimizing originates in Tapuach with the full backing of the army.
Breaking trees and throwing stones at the villagers are daily events. About 300 dunams of land were stolen from the village and their trees were uprooted for the convenience of Tapuach which recently began work on expanding its residential area. The village has 1500 dunams that are defined as Area B. Another area, between Yasuf and the village of Ikaka is defined as Area C. The Tapuach colonists wanted one house, that was built ten years ago by a family in the village, and they demanded that it be handed over to them. The case of the people of Yasuf against the colony has been 'rolling around' in the courts for two years, and there has not yet been a decision.
How is it that the Civil Government and the Law join hands with the people of Tapuach?
In order to cultivate the lands where the villagers raise wheat and chickpeas, and in order to pick the olives in the area that is near Tapuach, the people need 24 days at a minimum. The Civil Government allows them four days per year [!] - two for the regular work, and two for picking olives. (The villagers' appeal to the courts to allow them additional workdays was simply deleted as if it had not been registered.) On those four days the agricultural gate is opened only between 9:00 and 15:00, but the Civil Government generously allows even those who are by decree not allowed to move freely to go out to work during those hours.
When village people go out to work their land, the colonists go into action: they throw stones at the workers, shoot in their direction. Three people were injured as a result of the shooting and had to spend a few weeks in the hospital. And what do the soldiers do when they hear the shots? They stand at the side and do not interfere.
The colonists do not rest even during the night: Then they go out for "regular" attacks. They burn cars in the village, steal goats, steal the olives that the villagers haven't succeeded in picking yet. The colonists also have their own "creative" way of attacking: They spill flour on the lands that belong to the village.
A most serious criminal event that was carried out by the Tapuach colonists a few years ago, was the attempt to poison the well that supplies water to the village. They tied a bottle that dripped poison into the well. Luckily the bottle was found and the poisoning was prevented.
The worst and most injurious of the attacks from the point of view of the villagers occurred in 2009. Then the colonists burnt the mosque and scribbled "price tag" all over the remains. Photographs of the burnt mosque are hanging on the wall of the Town Council.
What is good for the evildoer, is evil for his neighbor.
11:50 Leaving the village in the direction of the Tapuah Junction. On the way we see signs that announce the construction of new villas in the village of Tapuach. The early bird will catch the worm. Mocking the poor victim!
The village of Huwwara is lively as usual. The CP is still surrounded by barbed wire on all sides, as was observed in former reports. The way back through the Jit Junction is calm; no military vehicles or soldiers are seen in the region.
12:15 Return to the railroad station at Rosh Ha'Ayin. Because of a problem with Nadim's car, we shortened our visit this time.