Meeting at Ras A-Tira and Eliyahu Crossing

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Mika Shoham, Petachya Akfa and Shoshi Inbar (reporting



Meeting at Ras A-Tira with Nidam Salah Mar'aba


        Eliyahu Gate – Sparse traffic

We turn left in the direction of Zofin and enter Qalqilya which must be crossed by a bypass, this is the only way to reach Ras A-Tira. We drive through Habla, the village we know, on the other side of the agricultural gate, through Ras Atiya and continue driving up on a winding road to the village. At the center of Ras A-Tira there is a water tower, the red roofs of Alfey Menashe are in front of us and at touching distance is the wall.



We meet Nidam Salah Mar'aba who invites us to his home. The intention was to meet the head of the village but he is busy and it's he who referred us to Nidam. He studied business administration at the A-Najah university, and works now at the councils of the region as an accountant. He also owns a grocery. In the village there are two big families. He and his wife have five children, three boys and two girls who both are students at A- Najah and El-Kuds. He has worked ten years in Israel as a builder but since seven years he is prevented by the General Security Services (Shabak) because (he explains, smiling) he is often interviewed in all the media, in Arabic and English, without fear. At every opportunity he expresses his opinion about the fence. His lands are situated at a distance of 200 meters from his house, but since the fence was built he has to pass 20 kilometers to reach them.

During the olive picking season the agricultural gate in a Wadi near the village is opened, and from there Israel enabled them to walk on the security road, accompanied by guards, about 200 meters to another gate opposite, from which walking is difficult because of the ground structure.  

The village inhabitants own 2000 dunams


There are 500 people in the village

They require 100 authorisations

In order to try and help and to understand exactly their needs we asked him to procure a map of the region and promised to return soon.

Electricity – Only a month ago the village has been connected, by way of Habla, to the Israeli Electricity Company. At first they were informed that they would get low tension, so they bought a piece of land and built a room suitable for low tension. Only then their were informed that they'll get high tension. But their budget was exhausted. Israel agreed to finance the installation and even transferred to the DCO the amount, on the name of the village, but the Palestinian Authority forbade the use of the money. A political issue of domination. The Authority demanded that the cheque be handed to her.  The Authority financed the connection to the houses with an investment of one million Shekel. The electricity bills to the residents are made out by the local council. The infrastructure for the connection to the electricity network exists since 20 years, and until a month ago Israel didn't agree to connect them.

Water -  In the past the houses had wells in which rain water was collected. When the fence was build the villagers built pipes underneath it, financed by the Authority, to the nearby village of Ras Atiya. Today there is not water problem in the village.

The Fence –was built very near the village houses, and separates between them and their lands. They have to prove that the lands are registered at the Land Registry Bureau, but because during the British rule taxes were collected from land owners, their fathers registered only a small part of their lands. Alhough the real number of dunams they own is registered in Jordan, Israel doesn't recognize this registration. The holders of authorizations can reach the industrial zone of Alfey Menashe which is a hilly area where the passage is difficult, by foot. Between their lands and the industrial zone there are no roads, and the farmers have to carry on their backs the sacks with the produce.From those who have authorizations to enter with their vehicles high sums are collected and this make the olive or fruit picking not worthwhile.


We said goodbye. We returned by the same road on which we came.

At the entrance to Qalqilya, in the middle of the road, we passed a booth with two armed Palestinian soldiers.


 Eliyahu Gate – sparse traffic

We return to Kfar Saba