Jordan Valley: A visit bearing the water sign
Palestinian Jordan Valley
Fasa'il springs – All along our way we saw Palestinian shepherds from Fasail. Along the road lies a pipe that takes water from the spring to the Fatzael settler-colony, I suppose. At one spot there was a strong leak from the pipe, apparently intentional, for the hole through which the water leaked was neat. Near this hole was a trough and a herd of goats was drinking their fill. The shepherd told us that the settler-colonist from the “Angels of Peace” outpost comes down with his flock to the spring every few days. He does not keep the Palestinians from using the spring but forbids them to climb the hill south-west of the spring. While we were talking with the shepherd, two Israeli cars arrived, each bearing 4 youngsters. They came speeding and only by some miracle did the goats manage to escape. While driving, the youngsters gave the shepherd and us the finger.
On our way we saw a deserted building that seemed ancient, and the Israeli web site Amud Anan names it Tahunat Fasail. At the spring itself was a shepherd with his flock. He was sleeping in the shade of the trees around the spring. Near the spring some massive construction is going on, of a new Mekorot (Israeli water company) pump, which will go deeper into the ground and pump additional large quantities of water.
Our visit to the ‘elderly’ couple: Following a post in Facebook, someone volunteered to help them get their medications. We came to photograph the medicines they need. The father gave us an overview of the water situation: once in 4 days they receive water from a Mekorot pipe and fill their water tanker, but they are only allowed to take water for 6 hours, the pipe is narrow so only half the tanker can fill up, meaning 2 cu.m. of water. It is not enough for the family and the livestock, especially in the summertime, so they must buy water from the tanker that brings water from the Fasail spring. This water he keeps in plastic containers. Just for our readers’ information: there are 9 huge Mekorot pumps working at the Fasail springs, providing water to the settler-colonists only.
The Al Auja water source abounds in water at this time of spring. The water slide has water and Palestinians wade there. A group of settler-colonist women from Beit El spread a blanket on the ground and picnicked there. They asked one of the Palestinians to photograph them. They had no trouble taking out food in view of the fasting Palestinians. Apparently it didn’t bother the Palestinians either.
A Palestinian vendor sells small watermelons at steep prices.
En Sakut: At the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley – this spring has been fenced for months now. We don’t know who did it, but the gates are open.
At the spring of En Al Hilwa all was quiet when we arrived, until two settler-colonists came there with children. When they passed us I heard one of the kids, about 5-years-old, aske his big brother – “Do you think the Arabs don’t want water too?” A child’s innocence…
More visits to Burhan at milking time. The entire family participates;
A short visit with Ayisha at Humsa – she was busy preparing the Iftar meal (the dinner that breaks the day’s fast). Nothing new there. They are still in the tents they put up in February.
Towards the end of the day, we visited Zob’a who lives in Humsa Tahta, right over the Hamra checkpoint. He has 8 sons, all of whom left except Mahmoud, because the Israeli authorities kept demolishing their home time and again. Now there’s a demolition order for the house of the only son who stayed to take care of the elderly man, the two disabled daughters, in a farm with a well that was dug 60 years ago, the sheep pen, and the trees he had planted over the years. All this in spite of the fact that Zob’a legally owns his land.