'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Amin, Kufr Thulth
We drove to the village of Th'ulth to acquaint ourselves with the problems of the farmers and to transfer their requests to the DCO.
07:30 Eliyahu CP – The traffic flows. To the lest, at the checking posts there are 5 Palestinian vehicles.
At the entrance to Azzun there is no army vehicle, but there are many Palestinian vehicles. It turned out that there had been a traffic accident and that the local police has arrived.
We discharge parcels at Z.'s shop and continue southwards.
8:00 We had fixed an appointment with M. at Th'ulth and drove with him to CP1261 the only one there is in the village.
This is a seasonal gate which is opened a few times a year in coordination with the DCO. In the olive harvest season the gate is opened for a month. Before the building of the fences and the system road, all the area was olive groves. Many of the Th'ulth people have olive groves but many other plots are not cultured as their owners have no possibility to reach them during the whole year. There is no reason to sow and plant is there is no possibility to reach the area to water, spray or prune. That's why many just give up on processing their land. This year the gate was opened from 22.2 to 27.2. The farmers went in to spray but couldn't plough because of the rain.
· Towards the end of March they wish to enter to plough the land. The CP should be opened twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, for a whole week.
· They have to get assistance from a tractor owner (they don't have one). They request a passage permit for a tractor owner who has no plots in the area.
· They request an authorization to enter with a vehicle to carry instruments or olives. When there is no authorization to enter with a vehicle they have to carry the sacks of olives on their back.
· The CP must be opened the whole year round. People have to cultivate their land. Some of them work at different jobs and they carry out the agricultural work on weekends. They therefore ask that the gate be opened on Friday Saturday.
At Th'ulth thre are 5000 inhabitants. In 1967 about half the number of villagers fled to neighboring countries. I asked M. to prepare a list of all the inhabitants of Th'ulth who applied to cross over to their lands and didn't receive any reply or were refused. The list will be passed on to the Center.
We continue southwards – Saniriya, Beit Amin, Azzun Atma
To our left there is a gate which is opened, as it seems, for Army needs only. In the background there is Azzun Atma.
We continue on a dirt road in the direction of Mes'ha following a nice truck driver who volunteered to show us the way. At the big industrial zone of Messha there is an Israeli from Aley Zahav, the owner of a carpentry workshop, who is surprised to see 3 Israeli women and warns us from continuing our tour. It is dangerous here.
What do you do here? We ask. I don't like them but give them a livelihood. But you should take care. But we "heroines" and continue to Hany's house.
The fence and the farthest houses of Elkana.
The wall and the concrete barricades on standby. To the left Hany's house
A coffee break at a small café at Mes'ha. The owner of a detergents' plant joins us. He has worked for years at a fish restaurant at Jaffa and he speaks an excellent Hebrew. He is not interested to disclose his name and his telephone number. I give him my telephone number. He is angry. Yesterday at 08:30 the IDF shot directly into the heart of an 18 years old youth and killed him. Ahmed Yussuf Assa'il
Amar was on his way from his village Zawiya to school at Messha.
A day before that a terrorist from Zawiya had stabbed in Jaffa an American tourist. The army decided on a collective punishment – not to allow Palestinians up to the ago of 30 to pass from Messha to Zawiya. A big crowd gathered on the road and the soldiers hit right and left everybody who crossed their way. He showed us pictures of the murdered man lying on the road. Today too the police stops all the vehicles and everybody is being checked.
A policeman, his vehicle and the passage
under the road