Duma, Majdal bani Fadil

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Natalie Cohen, Hani Stolman, Haya Ginton, Naomi Benzur (reporting), Maya BH (translation)


09:15  We leave the Rosh Ha'Ayin train station in Nadim's car. Soldiers at the bus stops along route 5.
09:45  Soldiers at the bus stop. The paving works continue

We met many do-gooders today: a group of young folk from Belgium who came to see the outcomes of the hate crimes and to show solidarity; a rep from an an international humanitarian organization, there to appraise the damage from the second fire, and help with the young couple's rehabilitation; social workers from another international organization, there to give mental aid to those who lost their homes. All these are attmepting to redress the harms of the 49-year-long Israeli occupation.

10:15 Magdal Beni Fadal
We reached the village following news accounts of surprise CPs at its exit.  We met the council secretary, G. He never seems glad to see us, and as in former visits paints a rosy picture, atypical of the West Bank.  But unlike in previous visits, this time it is apparent that the village has had encounters with the military.  G. belittles the surprise CPs:  they were at a side entrance, not the main one; they are meant to catch car-thieves, not to hurt the locals.  Anyhow, no one from the village was hurt.  He says the 3600 inhabitants can reach their lands without need of permits.  But they do not tend their 10,000 acres near Ma'Ale Efraim and Shilo, of their free choice,  Some of these lands are leased to wheat growers.  G. shows us paid bills from the Israeli Electric company, insisting this village owes not a cent.  Their cellular service is from a Palestinian compnay in Nablus, owned by Al Masri.

11:00 Duma
At the village entrance we can see signs of last night's confrontation: large stones and burnt tires all along the road.  Our friend Z. tells us that police, army, and settler forces arrived, and were met by the locals  The soldiers attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets.  One villager suffered a head wound and was hospitalized.
We go to the home of Ibrahim, the sole witness to the burning of the Dawabshe home.  Two weeks ago his bedroom burned down.  He has been questioned several times, and charged with being the arsonist, no less.  He is facing more interrogations.  He sits in the adjacent unburned room, with representatives from the Humanitarian Commission for Human Aid, filling out forms.

11:45 Hirbet Margim.
Here too we came following news of the demolition of 3 houses by the army. The tiny village - 7 families only - is close to Duma, but its lands belong to Talpit. The families live in theruins of an ancient village, and make a living from sheep and some agriculture.  Alas, they are surrounded by some of the most aggressive settlements (Kida, Adey Ad, Ahiya), who harrass them and their herds. Three families attempted to build on the ruins of their home, but were told to tear it down, since this is area C. Within a short time, the bulldozers came to demolish the construction, before they could appeal.  Some other buildings, erected before the Oslo accords, were left alone.  Our informant A. tells us that 2 familes left for Shu'afat, and the third remained roofless. A man and woman from Medicins du Monde arrive, to offer moral support.  They have no means for more.


On our way home, a police block between route 458 towards Tel Aviv.