Hamra, Ma’ale Efrayim, Za’tara, 14.02.2016

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Annalien K., Photographer; Rina Z., Reporter Marcia Lebeau, Translation

We went to visit the places where the army had destroyed dwellings and sheep pens north of the Jordan Valley last Thursday (11.02); in Bardela, Khalat Khader, and Ein-al-Bida.

Za’tara (Tapuah) Junction – Lately enclosed paths have been built so that pedestrians within them will pass from one direction to the other, protected by the fences, without entering the junction.  Aside from that, something was built that looks like a parking lot with an iron bar gate beneath the settlement of Tapuah.  The road to Salfit is open.

The entrances to the villages of Akraba and Jurish are blocked by a pile of stones for at least 6 weeks.  The entrance to Usarin – is free.

Ma’ale Efrayim Checkpoint

No soldiers are seen at the checkpoint.  Someone on a crane is installing something (perhaps cameras?) on the wall of the watch tower.

There are many new hothouses in the settlements of Gitit and  Ro’i.

Hamra Checkpoint, 10:30 – Very few cars.  Only one lane is open

Khalat Khader – This is a small community of 4 families, in which the army destroyed all the dwellings.  The place is next to the southern fence of the Mahula Settlement – a rich settlement that flourishes on the misery of the Palestinian families who live without electricity and water, and now also without tents, along the road from the Allon Highway, which is in bad condition and very dangerous for automobiles.

 We visited one family of 10 people, among them old parents, and some children, some of them married.  There is also a young couple with little children. . . they support themselves from beehives (10 beehives per tent) and from crops on owned land that they lease.  This year very little rain fell in the Valley.  They don’t have a water allotment; they purchase water in containers for their needs in their home.  They have lived in this place for 35 years.  In the past they had a spring from which they drew water, but the drilling of “Mekorot” Water Company, dried it out.  It is forbidden for Palestinians to dig wells in Area C.

We photographed the destroyed tents.  They succeeded in saving their kitchen:  old gas burners lay on the ground, and remnants of some utensils were orderly and clean.  All of this under the sky.  They received a small tent from the Red Cross in which they can sleep no more than six people.  The rest sleep outside.  What will happen to them when it rains? 

We were not able to get to the second family because the road is in such bad condition that it was dangerous for a car.  Two other families were not in the area.  Only destruction.  We photographed.

A-Dir – A family lives here on the margins of the village Ein-al-Bida.  We found much destruction, partially under a very large sheet metal roof, and another place that was, apparently, a tent dwelling.  They live by agriculture and raising goats.  The sheep and the cows also remain without shelter.

Bardala – This is a large village west of Highway 90.  Here there was much destruction of buildings “without permits” as we heard yesterday on the news on “Reshet Bet” radio station.  Destruction in 4 sites.  We saw only one of them, at the entrance to the village, because we arrived at a late hour. We also didn’t find anyone here.  There was a building made of cement blocks that was destroyed to its foundations.  There wasn’t a trace of furniture or household utensils.

On the way to the approach of the settlement of Rotam, we saw some buildings and large covered yards; there they are building a large farm, according to the neighbor, Didi, the security officer of the Rotam Settlement.  On the ridge of the mountain, we saw two buildings and a large farm on the slope, a large new building and a long covered yard.  He raises sheep and plants olive groves.  They don’t destroy anything of his.  Is everything with permits?