A-Sawiyya, Singil, A-Lubban A-Sharkia, Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Aliyah Strauss (English), Ana Shidlo, Dvorka Oreg (reporting), Nadim (driver)

Last Thursday soldiers shot and killed a young man in Sinjil. He had left a festive affair at a hall in the village celebrating the engagement of a couple. He was on his way home to his three children. Soldiers had gathered at the entrance to the hall and wanted to enter. Some people there explained to the soldiers that it was not acceptable for them to enter. When the man left the hall on his way home, a soldier came up to him and said, "We'll show you…" The soldier shot the man, point-blank.

Teen-age settler girls, who were standing by the roundabout at the entrance to Ariel, threw rocks at the car of a Palestinian police officer from A-Sawiyya and broke his windshield. An Israeli policeman who was there saw the incident. The Palestinian spoke to the Israeli policeman and asked to file a complaint and to sue the girls for the damage. The girls admitted their guilt, but despite this the Israeli policeman told the Palestinian that in order to place a complaint he is required to hire a lawyer. The Palestinian realized it would be less expensive to give up the case.

In A-Sawiyya soldiers arrive daily to the high-school. (Boys and girls learn in separate schools.) Sometimes they gather by the girls' school and "shout words". In the opinion of the person we spoke to this is a more serious problem that really bothers the villagers.

Settlers from the settlement of Shilo, on the other side of road 60 from A-Sawiyya, stand near the road and throw rocks at the Palestinian cars that pass there.


9:30  Za'atra (Tapuah Junction) Two jeeps are parked; the soldiers are observing the junction. One jeep is from Border Patrol, the other is an army jeep.

9:40  A-Sawiyya  School children are walking in all the streets. They have been let out early for the winter holiday after having taken their exams.

At the Council office we met A., as usual, recording the water payments of the people of the village. Ao, who lives in the village, a police officer in the Palestinian police force, came to pay his water bill. During the conversation with them and with another villager, M., an older man, a problem that very much bothers all the villagers came up. The army comes to the vicinity of the school every day and the soldiers stand by the fence. What disturbs them even more is that the soldiers come to the girl's school and "shout words" at them.


A-Lubban A-Sharkia.  We passed by the school that is run jointly for the two villages, A-Lubban and A-Sawiyya. We hoped to see the soldiers "in action" by the school, but they weren't there. By 9:30 the pupils had all gone home after finishing their exam.


11:00  Sinjil   In A-Sawiyya  we were told about a young man in the village Sinjil who had been shot to death by soldiers on Thursday night. We came to the Council in Sinjil just as a large crowd of men arrived there to console the grievers. He was a young man, the father of three children, who had worked, by permit, in a poultry abattoir in Atarot. Thursday evening he returned to the village after work and went to a festive affair for the engagement of a friend at a hall in the village. Soldiers gathered outside the hall and wanted to enter during the festive affair, but some people there explained to the soldiers that it just was not acceptable for them to come into the hall. According to witnesses among the group of men whom we met, when the young man left the hall to go home a soldier came up to him and said, "We'll show you…" (meaning the villagers in Sinjil). The soldier shot him, point-blank. People nearby called an ambulance which arrived quickly, but the soldiers had set up a barrier and didn't allow the ambulance to leave for Ramallah, to the hospital. The ambulance driver found another way to get out of the village and get the wounded man to the hospital. At the hospital there were efforts to save him, but he was finally pronounced dead.

The following day, when the family returned to the village with the body, they were held up for 3 hours by a barrier set up by the army. At the same time the army forced 20 young persons, who were accompanying the family, to lie down on the road for all those hours. We asked if it wasn't possible in a situation like that to complain to the DCO. The answer, "The DCO doesn't decide anything. Only the army decides."

A family member of the killed man told us that the army comes into the town every night, about 2:00 am. They also come in the morning and watch the school. That morning the soldiers came at around 8:30, and then the principle sent all of the pupils home. This was why we saw them in the streets.

The person with whom we were talking stated that all of the people in the town are apprehensive. "Every place is dangerous; in the street it's dangerous, even in our homes it's dangerous. Bullets come through the windows and the doors." As an example he told us of a relative of his who was standing at the door of his house and suddenly felt a bullet hit his foot.

We asked if the army is arresting young people. His answer, "They don't come to arrest. They come to kill. We have no security even in our homes."

Someone told us that the army seized one house in the town under the "straw widow" plan. (A house on a hilltop is taken over by the army for use as an observation station for the area. The family must then find somewhere else to live.) On our way out of the town we tried to locate that house but were unable to do so. Perhaps because the main road from the town to Road 60 was blocked by the army, and we went the long way around.

At a bus stop near Turmus Aya we saw large cement blocks that had been placed around the bus stop. This seems to be a way to discourage terrorist acts of running a car into people waiting at a stop.

12:30 at Za'atra Junction, we saw an army jeep on the road to Yatmeh, but when we came closer the jeep had left. In the junction was a jeep with an Israeli flag on it.