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Observers: 
Iris S., Neomi B. (reporting). Driving the vehicle – Nadim
Aug-12-2015
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Morning

 

9:30 Departure from the train station at Rosh Ha'Ayin

The purpose of the trip is to learn the routes in the direction of Deir Istiya and Qarawat Bani Hassan.

We drive on Route 5, and meanwhile learn about the routes in the direction of Deir Istiya and Qarawat Bani Hassan. We turn in the direction of Hares and continue to the villae of Qarawat Bani Hassan.

 

10:15 Qarawat Bani Hasan

A relatively well-off village. Many shops, most of them open, some with stylish shop-windows, carpentry workshops, uphosterers' workshops, and others are strewn along the main road. We expected to meet, at the council building, with the head of the council, whom we have met durng our former visit, but he exchanged roles, according to the rotation agreement, to become the present head of council, and who has gone today (in coordination with the DCO) for meeting at the Tel Aviv municipality, with the goal of solving a special problem, common to Qarawat and to some villages of the neighborhood, about which we shall report later.

"Because the place is a nature reserve". R., father of five children, remained without means of subsistence. In order to release the tractor on which his subsistence depends, he will have to pay a fine of 7000 Shekel.

 

H., the cordial administrator of the council, plays host and with the help of Nadim, who translates, we are acquainted with the immediate acute problem of the village – a serious shortage of water. According to him, on normal days, three adjacent villages - Qarawat, Bidiya and Sarta - depend on one water pipe which is located near the settlement of Maale Israel, according to a quota: 30 cubic meters per hour to Qarawat, 50 to Bidiya, and 10-17 to Sarta. Now, on these especially hot days of summer, the water company has decided to supply only 17-20 cubic meters to the 5000 inhabitants of Qarawat. The water is supplied for one hour only, at night, at a very low pressure. Why? "because it is imperative to save water," explain the Mekorot people, who allow the filling of the swimming pools of the settlers in abundance.

 

H. tells us in detail about the problem for which the Head of the Council went to Tel Aviv, and exposes a new dimension in the municipal area in the West Bank: After 20 years, during which the surrounding villages had no place to collect their garbage, 28 villages united and formed a representative committee of 7 members. The head of the council of Qarawat Beny Hasan is the head of this committee. The aim of the committee is to regulate the garbage disposal for the entire region. The members of the committee, in cooperation with the villages, have already chosen a place, near Zeita Gama'in, which they consider suitable for the removal of garbage, because of the pits which already exist there as a result of work at the quarries. However, the representatives of the Nature and Parks Authority, who are self-appointed care takers of the environment in the West Bank, fine the garbage transporters and confiscate their vehicles. This situation demands rectifying. In Tel Aviv the head of the council will get to know systems of garbage recycling, with the aim of implementing them in the area. Irit volunteers to coordinate a connection between an agronomist friend, who specializes in the field of garbage recycling, and the head of the council.

 

It is well known that many villages in the West Bank have an evil neighbor – the settlements, which has been built on their land and which makes their life miserable. The inhabitants of Qarawat have the honor of being neighbors to the settlement of Havat Yair. One of the ongoing harassments performed by Havat Yair is aimed at the vicinity of a small well, not far from the village. About ten years ago the villagers had quarried a few small pools into which the water of the well flowed, and the people of the village raised goldfish in them. A road  from the village to the well was also paved. Two years ago the settlers of Havat Yair destroyed the road. In order to enable a better approach to the well, the villagers came two weeks ago with a tractor, to fix the route. Immediately after that soldiers arrived at the place, accompanied by the people of the Nature and Parks Authority, drove the people away and confiscated the tractor, which hasn't been returned yet. Who alerted them? The people of Havat Yair, who from their vantage point on the top of the hill dominate all that is going on.

 

Together with the Head of the Council we drive to the well. The place is lovely. From enormous rocks the well springs forth and continues on its way to a wadi called No'ataf. Around it there is a rich vegetation which fans out up to the olive trees planted on terraces on the opposite ridge.

 

R., an independent laborer, employed off and on by the municipality, tells us: about two weeks ago, on 27.7.15, he went with his tractor to reinforce the stones of the terraces, in order to avoid drift from rain water in the winter. The people of Havat Yair protested, and within a short time a green Parks and Nature Authority vehicle arrived, he was forbidden to work, and they confiscated his tractor. Why?

 

The occupying state takes control also over the few treasures of nature, and chases their natural owners away.

 

12:30 We set out on our way back. Both on the way out to and now and the way back, no army vehicles were to be seen.

 

13:00 Back to Rosh Ha'Ayin.