'Azzun 'Atma, 'Izbet alTabib, Habla, Ras 'Atiya

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Dalia G. (photographer) Dvorka A. (reporting), with Nadim

The change in the delineation of the fence following the decree of the High Court of Justice, benefitted the inhabitants of Ras Atia in one sphere but created new wrongs concerning the possibility of some of them to reach their lands, and the danger that the lands would become "public lands".


10.15 We left from Rosh Ha'Ayin on the way to Azzun Atma.

This time we drove by road 446, with the sanctimonious Leshem settlement on our right and on the next hill, in the direction of Dir Ballut, the way is already paved for its expansion or for the building of a new quarter which probably will receive later an appropriate Zionist name. We passed through Sarta and Mes'ha on our way to Azzun Atma.

We arrived at the village following the request of N. and other women from the village to meet us, in order to discuss the possibility of teaching local children and students English.

They learned about this possibility from the experiences of our members with children at Issla.

We also discussed family matters. It transpired that the ex husband of one of the women lives now in Ra'anana, and is married to a Jewish woman. He also has a son who arrives from Hertzlia to spend part of his school vacations at his father's divorcee's house in the village. Our hostesses suggested we return after the Ramadan, meet a big group of women from the village and plan our activities together with them. We promised to do so.


Before we left showed us from their courtyard, how the settlement of Sha'arey Tiqva surrounds them from east and north. They pointed to Oranit which is situated north west. They told us that settlers would arrive from there at Azoun Atma "uninvited". They explained to us that since the building of the fence was terminated the surprise visits of the settlers in their courtyards have stopped, but the army can arrive at the village at any hour of the day and night, any day.


We left by the dirt road that passes east of the big Oranit gate which has been opened when the building of the wall had been terminated, and has since been closed again in favour of small agricultural checkpoints at several points.


We continued on the dirt road through Izbat Salman, and could discern in the fence to our left an agricultural CP. There the road branched out: The path to the left leads to the southern part of the Habla CP, and the one to the right to Ras Atia.


12.00 Ras Atia. We entered the Town Council and met Z., the secretary.

He remembered to tell us that that some years ago Fathiya, Micky Fisher and Miriam Shayish used to visit them from time to time (he remembered their private names).


We asked about the changes that occurred from their point of view following the destruction of the old delineation of the wall and the completion of the building in the new delineation.


Z. pulled out an enormous map and began pointing to different places and to tell us about the significance of the changes. The Palestinian authority has united the small villages with the adjoining councils. Thus Ras a-Tira  was united with Ras Atia,  and A Dab'a with Habla.


The people of Ras Atia rejoiced when the wall was pulled down, suddenly they could meet and freely visit friends and family members from Ras a-Tira.


The drawbacks:


The condition of the inhabitants of Ras a=Tira, Beit Amin, Izbat Salaman and Azzun Atma deteriorated as many of their lands are now situated beyond the wall.

The inhabitants of Ras a-Tira and Ras Atia have lands at Wadi Rasha, which they are allowed to reach by an agricultural gate only for seasonal tasks, olive picking and harvest.


Some inhabitants of the village have lands near Izbat Jal'ud. Some are permitted to cross over by the nearby 1419 gate which is opened three times a day for a quarter of an hour.


Others have a permit to cross only by the Habla or Sha'ar Eliyahu gate. From there they can reach Israel, but not their lands (!)


The host showed us a form which was filled out by one of the farmers who requests a passage permit by gate 1419 instead of the authorization which he was given to pass at Habla and the Eliyahu CP.

It is difficult to understand if this is indeed the intention, or just the result of disorder and stupidity?

Z. told us that in some plots olives have not been picked already for 4 years. It is alarming to think what will be their lot when the authorities will decide that they are not processed and will pass them over to the sultan…


We mounted with our host to the roof of the council building. From there it is easy to see the wall in the north and in the south, and the villages on both its sides.


13.15 Habla CP from the south


The soldiers arrived on time, opened the CP from north and south and began letting people, carts and cars pass. But in spite of everything it is impossible without creative bullyings. A Palestinian who arrived with his wife and babyinfo-icon son in a car. He is already practiced to dismount from the car, with wife and baby, to be checked at the halt booth and only then to return to the car and pass with it at the CP.


While we were observing,  M., a policeman at the Palestinian Police, who was waiting in the car for his brother, arrived. In a conversation with him he told us that his father, who used to work in Israel, at Hod Ha-Sharon, dies two years ago from a heart attack in the course of his work. The employer claimed that his death had nothing to do with his work. Until today nobody took care of matters of insurance or moneys which may be due to the family. We took his details and directed him to Abd Dary from "Kav La'Oved" who is responsible for the management of problems of Palestinians who in Israel and in the settlements.


We left the place towards 2.00.