Huwwara, Tue 10.4.12, Morning
We met with the head of the Ramin local council to check on the progress of paving the access road to the village from the main road (Highway 57). At present, in order to reach the village one must drive via Anabta to Tulkarm, take the road to Jenin and at the top of the hill there’s a lovely road winding toward the village. The route is lovely but dangerous, particularly when traffic is heavy.
We went to the municipal building and were astounded to discover that the head of the local council had gathered 30 people who awaited us. They included council members, the women’s council and school teachers. We sat opposite them, we two little women, describing our organization. The council head described the village (2200 inhabitants) and the many problems caused by the closed access road. It’s not even possible to walk down to the main road to hail a cab because taxis stopping are ticketed. He said that people working in Ramallah had moved away from the village for that reason.
As a result either of our letter (from November, 2011) or their requests, the army allowed them to pave a new access road in place of the one that had been closed. They showed me plans for the road that had been approved by the traffic authorities in 2009. The council head obtained agreements from landowners whose property would be used to enlarge the junction. The next obstacle is the demand by the Civil Authority that the plan be published in the newspaper to allow objections to be heard to using agricultural land for a road. The council head says that will cause a four-month delay.
Next Monday, 16.4.12, at 11:00, they’ll meet representatives of the Civil Administration at the junction. They want our representatives to be present and help (exert pressure).
Other people also voiced complaints.
- A woman whose lands adjoining the main road are flooded by sewage. The army won’t allow her to bring a bulldozer to remove it.
- Another woman complains that her olive grove is full of weeds and they can’t obtain a permit to clear them. Settlers set fire to the dry weeds, damaging the trees.
We continued to Huwwara.
Shavei Shomron: A police car and lines of cars at the turn to Shavei Shomron in both directions. Many buses drive toward Homesh and return empty. We ask a policeman what’s going on; he says that everything’s ok. The settlers received approval to send a certain number of people to Homesh, and they’re adhering to the limit imposed. Based on the number of buses, it must have been a pretty large number.
Jit junction: Police and a military vehicle. A Palestinian stands next to his vehicle. The policeman appears to be giving him a ticket.
Maybe there’s a larger number of military vehicles on the road because of the holiday.
Huwwara: An unmanned checkpoint (except for the tower). Traffic flows freely to and from Nablus.