Marda: Contamination of the drinking water
We had fixed an appointment, as we had heard about the contamination of the drinking water and the illnesses of the children. We were told that everything was now in order and that the children were healthy. We went to hear about other issues.
12:15 We arrived at the Baladiye and saw that at the entrance to the building there was a many membered meeting, with a delegation of the Authority. We were led to the room of our acquaintance the doctor, head of the council. His deputy joined us later.
There are about 2500 inhabitants in the village. A large part of their lands was confiscated for the benefit of the settlement of Ariel, some of whose buildings are adjacent to the village. They talked about the situation in general. They think that 80% of the Palestinians are interested in peace and an independent state on their lands, side by side with the state of Israel. One man added that in the same way that the Palestinians live in Israel, Jews could live with them, but that in Israel it is not like this.
They often feel under siege. At both entrances to the village from the main road (505) there are checkpoints and the army does close the yellow arms from time to time. The inhabitants also have olive groves behind a fence and a gate (seasonal CP) which the army is supposed to open for them for a few days during the olive picking season, and in winter for maintenance. This year a few days were allocated to them but when they came to the CP the army didn’t open it and they were told to return on the next day, and so it went during two days. Then there was a terrorist attack in Samariya and the CP wasn’t opened at all. During the olive picking season too, the CP isn’t opened for a sufficient length of time. We agreed to be in touch with them towards the coming olive picking season