'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Habla, Haris, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 5.9.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We were mistaken to think that each person knows his place in the spectacle of the occupation, and that the “occupation routine” continues unchanged on a humid summer day. The occupation doesn’t stand still. For example, an article published on ynet on July 17, 2012, connects the announcement that the Ariel University Center will become a full-fledged university with the expansion of building in the town: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4256792,00.html.
Here’s what we ourselves saw and heard:
The crossings checkpoints are becoming more permanent, with more and more seedlings being planted.
10:29 A pillbox proudly stands at Anabta. Cars cross without stopping.
11:30 We visited G., an old acquaintance, in Deir Sharaf. Commercial activity has begun around the junction opposite the curve of Highway 60; another grocery, another café. On the other hand, it’s increasingly difficult to make a living from agriculture. This year G. is allowed only 3 or 4 days to harvest the olives from his grove adjacent to the old turn to Shavei Shomron. He’s forbidden to work the grove during the year. He doesn’t even know whether there’s any fruit on the trees. He’s waiting for a permit from the Civil Administration, but even when he’ll finally be able to reach his land it will take him an hour to walk there because he’s not allowed to drive in a vehicle.
Not far away new buildings are rising in the Kedumim industrial zone, gnawing away at the land and at the skyline.
During the conversation that develops we learn from G’s brother about the strike by Palestinian taxi drivers that will begin in the afternoon and continue tomorrow in protest against the deteriorating economic situation. A man who lives in the area joins the conversation; his solid economic status and his ability to manoeuver between Jews and Palestinians are expressed by his sarcastic question to us – what “occupation” are we referring to? It seems that some people manage to benefit…
11:55 We continued to Huwwara. Cars cross in both directions without stopping. The observation tower stands in place, the sheds, fences, netting that’s still in place – all that once appeared irrevocable – is silent, leftover testimony to the human rights violations that occurred at the checkpoint. There’s a small sign in English and Arabic just before the plaza where the road to the Har Bracha settlement splits off from the turn to Awarta and the road known as the Madison Route, whose literal translation is: Palestinian vehicles are permitted to turn left only to Awarta.
12:05 Za’tara. A line of about 20 Palestinian cars (and one with a yellow license plate whose driver apparently isn’t aware of the privileges granted to Israelis – to bypass the line) because of a taxi stopped at the sole inspection booth in operation. After the taxi drives away the other drivers slow but don’t stop. Another taxi stops, a Border Police soldier opens the doors, peeks in and the taxi continues.
12:15 Hars. The yellow bar which, according to the will of the occupier, can block entry to the village, is open. A few people seated in a vehicle tell us that at night the bar does block this entrance. One of them also complains of the noise from the construction in the Revava settlement. “We can’t sleep at night,” he says. He rejects our suggestion to put him in contact with Yesh Din. Where we’re standing is under observation by the tower rising nearby; he doesn’t want them to see him talking to us.
Another man is blacklisted from entering Jerusalem. We gave him Sylvia’s phone number.
From there we crawled along Highway 5066 to Highway 55, behind an Israeli truck loaded with construction material for foundations.
At the Habla checkpointthat opens and closes at set times we watched, from 13:00 to 13:45, Habla residents crossing to and from the village; pupils from ‘Arab a-Ramadin returning from school -the routine broken “only” when the soldiers at the checkpoint list by hand the names of those entering the village. The listing takes about 20 minutes, after which the routine returns to its proper place – that is, back to the inspection station.