Habla, Thu 16.5.13, Afternoon
1.30 Habla gate is wide open. Two gates are completely open (something we have not seen in years).
A soldier checks a wagon on which are cardboard boxes full of produce but it is not clear what sort of produce. We were told that the soldier checks quickly and does not make problems and indeed it was so.
In the shed we meet a Bedouin from west of Arab a Ramadin who asks us to visit us when we are finished and we promise to do so.
Opposite the grocery shop and the store have been completely destroyed. Amongst the destruction we see the vegetables and other grocery items. The tractor did not wait until the goods had been cleared out but destroyed the building with all the goods inside.
The owner met us. He would not speak in front of the camera. “Why did they destroy? My shop endangers the state? Does it not matter that I sell to all the people in the seam zone who have nowhere else to buy? 500 people are in this area. Most of them work during the day so as to buy their food from me. I make a living and people have where to buy. Whom does this disturb?
We leave the owner and go to Omar’s nursery. As always it is pleasant to sit and talk to him over a cup of coffee or tea with mint.
15.00 We come to the home of M. at the western side of Arab a Ramadin. We met some of his family. His big problem is that they have no electricity. Electric poles are right next to his house. But the electricity goes past him and does not come to his home. 5 years ago at Ariel he paid 400 shekel so as to be connected to the electricity. The money was taken but until today no electricity has arrived. We have the details of the payment but the receipt is missing…without that it is difficult to prove that he paid. They have the details and if they wanted to they could help him to solve the problem. But they do not. Their home is the only one which is built of stone. It has beenstanding since 1976. He says that then there was no road 55. They went on foot to Qalqiliya within 10 – 15 minutes. Today they are in the seam zone and to get to Qalqiliya they have to take a detour, to go through the checkpoint and waste hours.
There are 15 people in their family. Next to the house of stone is one of planks because they are not allowed to add on to the house. The natural increase is not a “reason” to ask for a permit to build. The three adult sons are not married because no woman will marry a man who has no home and no electricity. How does the family make its livelihood? He is a teacher at Arab a Ramadin and his sons work in Israel. What is so necessary is lacking…..electricity. Can we help?