'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 11.10.10, Morning
Bir Shely) the army calls it Tamar)
– The agricultural gate is open. The laborers say they came from ‘Azzun ‘Atma. No lines of people waiting, but the soldiers say there were long lines on Friday.
The gate closes at 07:30 and reopens at 13:00 and at 17:00.
Open from 05:30 every day. Inspection is more rigorous. People pass through to work in Elkana and Sha’arei Tiqwa. Few leave to go to their own fields. Those working in settlements wait for their rides, so we can talk with them a little.
Construction in Sha’arei Tiqwa – they’ve started building 200 new units.
The water situation – Palestinian villages situated in the valleys are located above underground water sources. But Mekorot has taken over the water and sends most of it to settlements located on higher ground. The allocation to villages lower down is insufficient.
The primary complaint – Sha’arei Tiqwa has no sewage treatment plant, nor does Ariel. All Sha’arei Tiqwa’s sewage flows through the wadi into ‘Azun ‘Atma. All Ariel’s sewage flows to Marda, down below. This also pollutes the ground water, but they suffer greatly from the stink and the mosquitoes. Who cares?
The last people come through.
Kifl Hars, Qira, Jama’in
We take a new route: a lovely landscape, steep ascents and descents until we reach Route 505. We see people, sometimes entire families, picking olives everywhere. . People are in a good mood – even an excellent mood. There’s a bountiful harvest. In Qira (or Qiri) we met a family member who’d come from Dubai for ten days to help with the harvest.
A line of 14 cars. All in one lane, but traffic flows.
08:50 – We talk with two soldiers who don’t have anything to do. She starts with a question – we have to choose between what’s good for Jews and what’s good for Arabs. After a five minute discussion they’re willing to admit people should be respected simply by virtue of the fact they are human beings, no matter who they are. A truck arrives and we leave.
09:05 – Everything is open. A lamp is burning and there’s a water tank, indicating that soldiers are around somewhere.
09:10 – Traffic flows in both directions. The checkpoint commander, named Alon K., makes sure to tell us how important the welfare of the Palestinians is to him. On a very hot day he ordered a driver of a taxi carrying two babies to turn on the air conditioner and brought cold water for all the passengers. We praised him and promised to tell others what he’d done.
A Palestinian tow truck carrying an Israeli car stands in the plaza. It had been detained because they suspected the car had been stolen. After 15 minutes the tow truck and car were released and continued toward Nablus. It turned out that everything was ok.