Halet (Khirbet) Makhul, Za'tara (Tapuah)
Condolences visit in Fasa’el. The widow and children are surrounded by a supportive family.
Things are routine for now at Khalat Makhoul. They fear the tents and sheds would be demolished. The army came a few days ago to take photographs.
08:45 Za’tara checkpoint
Soldiers at the hitchhiking station.
09:15 We arrived at the village of Fasa’el al-Taht. It has over 1000 residents. The homes are attractive, some surrounded by greenery. Most of the village is in Area A. We went to the small grocery and spoke with S., the owner. He speaks Hebrew. He says he’s Bedouin, a member of large Sowwarqa clan. Its members are in Egypt, Sinai, Israel and the West Bank. He has relatives in Ramleh. He’s able to visit them. He doesn’t have a positive opinion of the Bedouin in Fasa’el, Fuqa and Wasta. He says they’re trespassers. He’s indifferent to their difficult situation and is not impressed by their claim that they were forced to leave Ein Gedi and Arad, where they used to live, because of the 1948 war, and had to find somewhere else to live that wasn’t inhabited. Let them go to Bethlehem, he said. It turns out that Fasa’el al-Taht is in the Jericho sub-district, while Fasa’el Wasta and Fasa’el Fuqa are in the Bethlehem sub-district. Apparently because they come from Ein Gedi and Arad. But there are connections between the communities because of the services provided in Fasa’el al-Taht – health, education and shopping. S. knows Abu Zeid, the head of the family from Fasa’el al Wasta who was killed two or three weeks ago in a traffic accident. It happened at night when he left his relatives’ house in Jericho and hit a wall. A number of his relatives were in the car, including two sons. All were injured and hospitalized in Nablus and Ramallah. Now they’re recovering at home.
09:30 We came to the Abu Zeid encampment to pay a condolence call. H., the new widow, sat surrounded by relatives. Her parents, her late husband’s parents, siblings and their children. Her brother-in-law and his wife and small daughters moved into an adjacent tent. They’ll take care of her and her family. During the mourning period members of Ta’ayush came with Dafna, along with people from Combatants for Peace, who planted two citrus trees by the side of the road.
Zakaria, who was injured, shows us the young citrus tree.
11:00 On our way back, about 100 meters before
the intersection with Highway 90, stood a military jeep, and soldiers stopped a Palestinian vehicle on its way to Fasa’el and inspected the trunk.
11:30 Hamra checkpoint. A slight delay. A vehicle driving toward Nablus was detained and inspected. After it went through trucks waiting at the checkpoint exit were allowed to proceed. A line of cars formed on both sides of the checkpoint and waited patiently for their turn to go through.
On our way back there was a long line of 15 cars that kept getting longer.
11:30 Khalat Makhou
Things are normal at the moment, but they live under a constant threat that their homes would be demolished after a visit from the army which took photographs.
The flock is resting at this hour. It’s the lambing season. Yusuf meets us beside two lambs born ten minutes earlier.
13:00 Za’atara checkpoint. It’s manned. Soldiers at the hitchhiking station.