'Awarta, 'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Madama, Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Carol Cook, Petahya Akfa, Riva Bachrach (reporting), Nadim (driving)



Agricultural Gate Habla, the village of Madama, the story of the well….. Awarta, Beit Furiq, and again Huwwara….




13:50 Agricultural Gate Habla  ( from 13:15 to 14:15 only)


A young soldier helped a young mother, who went with a babyinfo-icon girl in her arms to present her papers, to bring her the baby carriage. I couldn't help but thank him for that and for his ability to remain human under these conditions.


14:05 The Eliyahu Passage


There is nothing to report. It looked abandoned.


At the entrance to ‘Azzun we saw a booth with soldiers.


14:50 The village of Madama: a meeting at the municipality, and after that the "well" saga


This is a story of occurrences during about 9 months, since the inhabitants of the illegal settlement Yitzhar came down from the hill and clogged the well. Since then the inhabitants of Madama haven’t  succeeded  in advancing the restoration of the well. It is impossible to do so without the protection of the army because of the wild temperament of the people of Yitzhar. They called the Palestinian DCO who are supposed to talk to the Israeli DCO, but the Israeli DCO didn't reply to their phone calls until now!


We called the "humanitarian center" of Nablus. We talked with a soldier/officer named Dayan. The commander of the DCO wasn't there. We explained that without the protection of the army the well cannot be rehabilitated (the settlers from Yitzhar…) and that for some reason the matter isn’t progressing, although there are some organisations that wish to help in this material matter! The superior office wasn't present at the center at that moment, and according to Dayan he was present at an event "of an attempt of stabbing a woman soldier" near the Nablus regiment. At the moment all of the DCO are busy with this, including the officer Arbel. He promised us that when officer Arbel contacts him, he himself will contact us via the Machsom Watch telephone number. We were not unduly surprised when we  didn’t receive a call from anybody at DCO Nablus, not from Dayan with whom we talked and of course not from officer Arbel who was supposed to call us, as we of course did not have his phone number.


We decided to drive to the regiment headquarters at the Awarta region. On our way we went on foot to the Huwwara CP and saw that it was open for the passage of cars and pedestrians without checking. There was a soldier at the observation Tower.


On our way to Awarta we saw quite a number of military jeeps in the region and they seemed to be looking for suspects. At the grocery of Awarta we were told that the army entered Nablus at the northern hill. They arrested somebody there and one Palestinian was wounded. At the Awarta grocery they told us that the army passes there as a matter of routine! We heard from people on the way that there are problems at Beit Furiq, and we immediately drove there; there were many soldiers in military vehicles.


15:55 – We observed two jeeps at the entrance to Itamar. We tried to reach Beit Furiq but the army blocked the road and made it impossible to drive there. There were many Palestinian cars, probably on their way home, but they were not allowed to drive. We were told that in one of the vehicles there was a sick woman who had returned from a doctor's visit, and she too was not allowed to pass. The soldiers refused to talk to us.


We decided to return to Huwwara. An hour or less earlier the Huwwara CP was empty, now there were a lot of military vehicles entering Nablus. At the Yitzhar intersection, in the direction of Huwwara, we observed a private car, probably of the Shabak (the General Security Service).


At Huwwara we heard from people, who heard from friends using cell phones that the army was still in Nablus. They reported on one wounded Palestinian and one detained. At Huwwara too there were military vehicles, an exceptional event.


17:10 Tapuah Intersection. There was one soldier in the watch tower and another stood in the booth.


To sum up: This was a very frustrating shift as regards the events and the feeling of helplessness to help or to intervene. It seems to us that we – MachsomWatch – should interest the media in what goes on at Madama and the well opposite Yitzhar, and also in the fact that till now we never saw (soldiers in vehicles…) in the villages and on the roads! The question also arises whether the IDF is interested in arousing unrest and turmoil in regions which till now were more or less calm, in spite of the wrongs of the occupation?