Haris, Kifl Harith
We were told that about 90 structures in Haris were built without permits. All are threatened with demolition. Last year two were demolished. They fear additional demolitions.
Desecration of ancient tombs in Kifl Harith during a festival organized by the organization of Shomron settlements.
10:30 Haris. We meet with A., a social activist, at his home. A large house with a lovely, well-kept yard. Though he’s confined to a wheelchair as a result of a dumdum bullet to the spine during one of the army’s incursions into the village during the second intifada there’s no hate in his heart and he repeats that he wants to live in peace. Last week he sent us photographs from the festival at the ancient tombs in Kifl Hars. He said most of the village lands are Area C. About 90 homes have been built without permits. All are threatened with demolition. Last year two were demolished. A. is very worried that his home and those of relatives are also threatened.
He told us of his childhood. He clearly remembers the surroundings of the village prior to the establishment of the nearby Barkan settlement. As children they’d come to a place called Al Buraq to splash in pools hewn in the rock dating from Byzantine times that had been olive presses. Today they’re part of the settlement. He regrets that since 1981, when it was erected, Palestinians can’t access the site.
He complained about the two parallel legal systems to which Palestinians are subject, which sometimes results in double fines. For example, if he’s driving a vehicle with a broken headlight and is stopped by an Israeli police officer, he’ll be fined. An hour later he enters a Palestinian area and be fined for the same violation by a Palestinian policeman.
We talked about Riwaq, an organization restoring heritage sites that hires unemployed Palestinians. So far, it has renovated fifty sites throughout Palestine.
12:00 Kifl Harith. We visit ancient tombs desecrated by participants in the festival organized by the Shomron settlements committee, on the 26th of Sivan.
Here are the results. The tombs, that were painted white and kept clean, were defaced by stamped slogans. To make clear who’s in charge.
13:30 Qarwat Bani Hassan. A conversation with A., the village head, in the municipal building. Since he took on the job a year ago he’s trying to obtain approval from the Civil Administration for a plan to renovate the entrance to the village. The location invites traffic accidents. The plan has already been approved by a licensed engineer and was presented to the Civil Administration. Now he’s awaiting a reply. He thinks the holidays have delayed the response. He hopes it will be approved and they can begin building a safer access road. Like A., he also complains about double fines if a Palestinian is stopped twice on the same day because an aspect of the vehicle violates regulations.
He’s very active trying to improve living conditions in the village and plans to renovate ancient structures and heritage sites. One problem is that his term is ending, and had been very short from the outset. The term is four years but it’s spilt among families related by blood. So each lasts only slightly longer than a year. After four years the position passes to another group of families.
The ancient tomb in Kifl Harith.
A structure hewn into the rock, from the Roman period, know as Deir a- Darab, the house of coins. It was the tomb of a high status individual. It’s located on the land of Qarwat Bani Hassan