'Azzun, Habla, Jinsafut

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Natalie Cohen, Anna Shidlow, Neomi Benzur (reporting), in the car – Nadim. Translator: Hanna K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Our tour comprises two halts. In both we met very angry men.


09:15 Departure from the Rosh Ha-Ayin train station.

09:30 Habla.Our gentle host, A., who usually talks calmly abgout local and global political affairs, if very angry today. Backed up by AB, the person who takes care of the plant nursery affairs versus the administration, he describes a web of abuses committed by the administration: In Habla there are 12 plant nurseries which employ 450 workers. This means that 450 families earn their living from the plant nurseries. As we know a long time has elapsed since the government of Sweden donated the equipment for the electrical activation of the water pump which serves all the plant nurseries. According to A., because of power-games of the administration versus the government of Sweden, the pump still works on diesel oil. Luckily for the plant nursery owners they received a European donation of diesel oil which is supposed to hold on for three months. And what will happen if the diesel oil will bge used up and the authorization to switch over to electrical activiation will not have arrived? Electricity reduces the cost of the irrigation by 50% A and AB explain. The high cost of the use of diesel oil affects the livelihood of both the owners and the workmen. But even more anger is directed towards Adal, the Druze Head of DCO from the village of M'rar who finishes his term of office these days, to the joy of the inhabitants.


Immediately after being appointed to his office Adal declared: "If it would depend on me, I would erase Kilkilya from the map".And he acted accordingly: According to his instructions vehicle owners were forbidden to cross over with their vehicles at the Eliyahu Passage. They were obliged to park their cars and to proceed on foot, all the while being submitted to abusive humiliating checks. A. told us that he was ordered to undress completely, including his underwear, and all this in front of a girl soldier who refused his request to leave the room, and watched the proceedings with much interest.The goods too were submitted to a lengthy check during Adal's term of office. "It all depends on the dog: if he is quiet – the goods pass. If he barks – the goods are confiscated".


Compared with Adal's wickedness, the two favorably point out other administration people: The Russian Grisha and the Ethiopian Salman who acted humanely and helped as much as they could. The sense of relief at Adal's departure is mixed with apprehension: The new Head of DCO, a Bedouin this time, will he be considerable towards them or will he act against them according to his caprices? Days will tell.


10:45 Azoun.The barrier is open. To its right, at the fixed place, a military jeep is parked and four soldiers are outstretched in the shade of a nearby tree. This indeed is the utmost exploitation of the IDF manpower….


11:00  Jinsapot. We arrived here following a newspaper item about the new road that was being broken through in Wadi Kana, and which was due to join the settlement of Aloney Shilo and that of Immanuel. A breakthrough in the service of the settlements on Palestinian soil is not sensational news in the West Bank, but Wadi Kana is defined as a nature preserve which by law it is forbidden to touch. According to the news item, the inhabitants of Jinsapot and Dir Istia (which is located south of the Wadi and which owns most of the plots) have filed a complained and have succeeded in effecting a temporary cessation of the works. In the news item it was not mentioned that the Red Cross has joined the inhabitants in the demand for the freezing of the works.


On entering the village municipality's office we immediately feel the tense atmotphere. A young man sitting next to a computer answers our questions with marked reluctance. An older man, dressed in a Galabiya, who speaks a little Hebrew, points at us with an accusing finger while he attacks us with bold words: "you are guilty of everything. You have no heart. What have you done at Gaza". Nadim tries to explain that we are not the rightful target, after all we are "different Israelis". The man softens slowly and lets us participate in what goes on in the village: Jinsapot has 500 dunams in the B zone, on which the houses of the village are built, and another 20000 dunams which are classified as C Zone. Part of this area was classified as a reservation.


Along the road that has been prepared they have already erected electricity poles, on the village's plots of course. In addition another settlement has been put up, name Neve Menahem. The demand that the breakthrough of the road in the reservation be stopped was accepted without a time frame.


The main conniving against the village came from the inhabitants of Karney Shomron. This settlement has a cannig plant. The inundate the village plots with the sewerage which contains chemicals remaining after the production process. The olive trees absorb the liquid and rot. Together with the Haredic inhabitants of Emanuel they also steal olives. Apart from the looting of the plots, here too, as in other villages, the number of days allotted to the farmers for plowing and shearing in their plots is minimal. We ask whether the days allotted for the olive picking would suffice? The answer is: absolutely not.  Because of this and in view of the tense atmosphere that has relaxed, we offer our help, and point out the names of villages where we had already helped pick olives. Anger again floods their faces and the answer is a determined "No". "We shall manage by ourselves". In other words: We don't need your favours. We leave full of regrets. We did not manage to be "other Israelis".


On the way back we drive through the nature reserve, on the road that has been paved on the plots of Dir Istia. The vegetation on both sides of the road is very beautiful. A real pastoralia.


By way of the connecting road to Hares we join road No. 5. An armoured vehicle drives towards us.


13:00  Back to Rosh Ha-Ayin.