Deir Sharaf, Sun 14.6.09, Afternoon

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Alix W., Ruthie W.Z., Susan L. (reporting)


The media termed today "Netanyahu's day," but actually it was the day for our shift in the OPT, a shift that has been altered, not because of any new policy (that is at least fathomable) but one that has changed as the rules of Occupation have changed; some larger checkpoints are no more - Beit Iba, Beit Furik. The only point accessible to us at Qalqiliya is also no more. But all the ditches and barricades remain, having forever disfigured the landscape. The leading example of environmental destruction is at Anabta where the new checkpoint has cut a wide swathe into a once pristine valley. An impression of freedom of movement may be given, but it is merely a figment of the imagination or yet another yarn from the Occupier's endless spin. What is clear, as always to MachsomWatchers, are the facts on the ground. Greater use of the so-called "terminals" and fewer and fewer access points to Israel proper for those lucky enough to get work permits. Having discouraged part of the Palestinian population with its violation of freedom of movement, the emphasis seems now on discouragement of those having a semblance of the right to work in Israel. Just as the spirits of pedestrians were dampened from moving from place to place in their own territory, now it seems the Occupier is putting a damper on those who manage still to get permits to work.  What the Occupier knows nothing about is "sumud," the steadfast perseverance of the Palestinians, despite political, economic and physical injustices committed against them. They know that, in the end, they will prevail.   

Our schedule is now termed "The Northern Route" (not The North Face), so we decided to do some "touring."

Beyond Jit, on the way to Yitzhar (settlement) and Huwwara (outside Nablus), the outpost Havat Gilad is clearly marked. It has one visible and substantial building, complete with a red roof, but a red that is not Mediterranean like and particularly garish in this part of the land. By this single very permanent looking structure are a number of "outpost" type buildings plus electricity and telephone poles. More cannot be seen from the roadway.

13:30 Sarra

We decide to make our way up to what was once a checkpoint outside the village. Today, we didn't get very far. A group of Palestinian men, walking toward Jit Junction made a show with their hands: "Where on earth do you think you're going?" Indeed we couldn't get far for the simple reason that the road is completely blocked, long before one gets to the junction with the village, where once the checkpoint stood. Today, there are huge boulders slung across the roadway, plus the inevitable yellow gate, and it's made very clear - facts on the ground - that there's no vehicular access to the apartheid road below. Probably the access downhill, on the other side, leads to Beit Iba, but, again, the Occupier has got it all worked out. Cantonization, if not with pedestrians, then with vehicles.

13.40 Deir Sharaf

By Shavei Shomron, the cause of the new checkpoint at Deir Sharaf, no work going on by the new apartheid road leading from the settlement to the main road below. What this means is beyond us. The hillside is damaged; its olive trees expunged and expropriated, but whither the will of the Occupier, which, of course, includes the settlers? Who knows?

The first real traffic of the day is sighted here, a steady stream of vehicles, no one needing to be stopped, meaning there are no Israeli cars (yellow plates) today: lesson learned (only on Saturday, never on Sunday).