Haris and the Ariel police station
Micky and I went with our friends from Dharma to the Friday demonstration in Haris. Not many participants today, perhaps weariness, the heat, and a wedding scheduled when the demonstration ended. Today, when it began at 12:00, the gate was open so we drove to the road leading to the area where 200 olive trees had been uprooted. But military police quickly arrived and began aggressively to push the demonstrators back to the village. I don’t have a photograph but saw Aviv Tartakski interpose himself to prevent armed Border Police soldiers behaving like hoodlums push Mikki and another one of us. After every demonstration, I’m even more impressed by him, how modestly and gently he behaves. Nevertheless, one of our participants was arrested, so when the demonstration ended we drove to the huge new Ariel police station and waited outside for a few hours (with the wonderful figs we’d bought in Haris), until he’d been released a little after 16:00.
The new monumental police structure in Ariel overlooks Iskaka and Yassuf, villages we know well (and the Sheikh Abu Zrid maqam, #22 in the maqam survey, that lies between them), as well as the surrounding settlements and outposts. It’s been erected at the end of Ariel university’s huge parking area, close to the “Ariel crossing” from which the road for the exclusive use of settlers leads through the Nofei Nehama outpost, crosses Highway 60 and ends at the original settlement of Rechalim (the road is marked in brown on the map).
To pass the time while waiting we played a game wondering how long the detention would last but fell silent when blindfolded Palestinian youths were brought out of the police station with their wrists bound, led/pushed by Border Police soldiers.
The road from the Ariel crossing; I hope they’re on their way to being released in their villages.
During prayers at the Haris demonstration, I sat with a friend from Deir Istiya. I asked him about whether Deir Istiya’s farmers could access their lands in the Wadi Qana valley. (The ridges above have been surrounded by settlements: Yakir, the Havvat Yair outpost, Karnei Shomron, Ma’aleh Shomron, Emanuel…). Two years ago we met him on his land in the valley, where he’d been forced to uproot trees and destroy a terrace he’d rebuilt. (I assume there’s a report about it)
His reply: It’s very difficult. I offered to come to see the situation if there’s no issue with the coronavirus. “There’s no problem; come,” he invited us. We’ll do so soon.