Natalie Cohen, Hagar Zemer, Naomi Bentsur (reporting), Nadim (driving). Translator: Charles K.


09:30  We left from the Rosh Ha’ayin train station.


10:00  ‘Azzun

The checkpoint gate is open; the military jeep which has become a permanent part of the scenery isn’t present this morning.


10:30  Deir Istiya

We arrived late for a meeting with village women because of a traffic jam on the way.  The entrance to the village is very pleasing: the large stone arch whose, construction had been interrupted many times by the army, which had invested many resources moving boulders to block it, is now wide open.  A small victory, but very significant for the villagers.


The women, numbering about fifteen, already await us, sitting in a semi-circle in the lovely courtyard of one of the ancient buildings.  More women join during the discussion.


Nadim opens by describing Machsom Watch and our work.  They’re very interested.  Some of the women want to see our tag and photograph it.


Along with questions about our activities, they describe the difficulties caused by the occupation.  One of the women says her husband is always tired, because he must leave home every morning at 3 AM to get to work on time after all the harassments at the Eyal checkpoint.  Another says her husband hasn’t been  able to find work in Israel and he has no way of making a living in the village.


At the end of the meeting one woman volunteers to post a notice in the women’s center asking women interested in Hebrew or English classes, yoga or handicrafts, to indicate what they’d like, so we can plan.


Women and children from Deir Istiya will have a beach day on July 22.


12:00  Back to Rosh Ha’ayin.