In the village of Malik, near Turmus-Aya, Abdalla Ayad, aged 21, was killed by our soldiers. The soldiers entered the village at 4.00 in the morning with smoke bombs and shock grenades in order to detain a wanted person. Youngsters woke up because of the noise and commotion, went out into the street and started to throw stones at the soldiers. The young man was shot in the back near a wall. A military jeep driving in his direction smashed an electric pole, pushed into the wall and ran over Abdalla.
In A-Sawiya there are check points at the entrance into the village, usually toward evening. In Turmus-Aya the military puts up checkpoints at night at the entrance to the town.
9.00 Leaving Rosh Ha`ayin through Za`atra intersection towards road 60.
9.45 A-Sawiya - a repeated visit.
In the Baladiya we met the secretary A. He remembered previous visits by members of Machsom-Watch, Neomi - two months ago and Aliya – a long time ago.
A. who had worked in Israel for many years and speaks Hebrew, also participated.
We tried not to repeat questions that had already been answered in the previous visit, and tried to update ourselves in what was happening now.
The conversation began pleasantly, but as more details and examples describing the situation, were given, the anger of our hosts at what the military and the settlers were doing to them, grew steadily.
The military vis-a-vis the youngsters - the joint school A-Sawiya, A-Luban and A-Sharkiya is situated near the main road. Sometimes the soldiers enter the school and frighten the students. The teachers are afraid to say anything. A. said that sometimes the soldiers entered the school with the express permission of their officer.
The military enter the village from time to time under the pretext that stones had been thrown. Our hosts say that this is a false accusation. It is impossible because the village is far from the main road and the parents prevent it! The detainments usually end with a fine paid by the families (another source of income for the occupation forces…) they repeat that the accusations that the children throw stones, are unfounded.
Another example concerning the conduct of the occupying forces – a military vehicle stops next to Palestinian vehicle and the soldiers investigate them about their actions and goods. According to them, this is humiliating and generates hate.
There are also thefts from a nursery of a Palestinian situated near the main road. The last time, three months ago, flower pots were stolen. He has cameras documenting the occurrences and the last time he handed the films to the military and they promised to investigate and search for the culprits.
In answer to our questions they said that the problems did not originate from the settlers of Eli, but from those of Shilo. They say that these settlers are the worst, they harass them in many ways and set fire to vehicles.
At the entrance to the village the military often put up unexpected check points, especially between 5 – 6 in the evening.
11.00 A-Luban. Here the Baladia is closed. A sign in English says that the building was donated by USAID. Nadim and Aliya remember other instances when the Baladia was closed.
11.15 Turmus Aya. A small town with 11.000 inhabitants. We entered the Baladia, the mayor attended a meeting with many participants and a few minutes later the vice- mayor came to meet us. W., is a well-educated, very impressive man. Like many others he speaks good English that he learned in the course of his engineering studies in the States. He mentioned a previous visit of our colleges in the town.
He welcomed us with the sad news of the killing of the 21 year old by Israeli soldiers in the nearby village of Malik. The distressing event occurred at 4.30 in the morning when the soldiers entered the village very aggressively in order to detain a wanted person. Boys and youngsters woke up because of the noise and commotion, went out into the streets and started to throw stones at the soldiers. The young man was shot in the back near a wall. A military jeep driving in his direction smashed an electric pole, pushed into the wall, where Abdallah was lying and ran over him.
For several hours the military did not permit anyone to go near him, only at 7.00 a crane arrived to remove the ruins and Abdallah was taken to the hospital in Ramala where they removed the bullet that had pierced his back.
The man who talked to us said that he was on the way to the funeral.
In continuation he talked to us in a friendly and pleasant manner and told us about the unique composition of the population of Turmus-Aya. More than 90% of the inhabitants were holders of American passports. A few thousands live in the States most of the year (about 700 in New York city). This also explains the existence of the dozens of `palaces` in the town belonging to family members who make a good living in the States and build houses in the town as well. The spacious building of the Baladia was donated in 2008 by a private person, member of the Shalbi family.
W. tells us that the soldiers are not impressed by the American passports of the inhabitants. He also tells of an event that happened a few months ago; the American Consul accompanied by a mission, arrived to visit the settlements in the area, without having received an approval from the DCO. They were welcomed by the settlers of Adei-Ad with a barrage of stones. Fortunately their cars were armored and they were not hurt. According to him, the event was mentioned in the media by the Secretary of State, Kerry, and his associates. About 60% of the lands of the inhabitants are in area B, and 40% - in area C. Large amounts of land were taken from them, (as well as from other villages in the area) to found Shilo, Adei-Ad and Shvut Rachel.
In answer to our question regarding the results of the elections in Israel, he said that he was not surprised. He reminded us that during the previous visit of the members of Machsom Watch prior to the elections, he expressly said that he was certain that the right would gain power.
In his opinion, as long as the USA gives strategic support to Israel, there is no chance that the Palestinian applications to the UN institutions and to Europe, will help them. Towards the end of the conversation he said that for several years he feels that the situation is only getting worse.
To complete the story he tells us that the military, almost regularly puts up a check point at the entrance to the town.
12.30 On our way home the "sewage waterfall" from the Barkan industrial area to the road 50, is flowing and gushing.