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הגר זמר, נעמי בנצור (מדווחת) ברכב נאדים.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


09:15  On our way.

For more than an hour we’re stuck in a traffic jam on Highway 5 to Ariel, because of an overturned truck. 


10:30  Tapuach junction

A police car parked in its usual spot, to the right of the compound.  Two soldiers at the bus stop, no military in the compound.  Building materials are scattered about, but there are no laborers.


An uninterrupted supply of water and electricity is an elementary responsibility of an occupying regime toward the population under its control.  This responsibility is anchored in international conventions but Israel doesn’t accept it.  As far as it is concerned, water and electricity supply (which residents pay for) is optional.  This is another tool the occupier uses to oppress the occupied population.


10:45  Qabalan

We meet H., the mayor, at the well-cared-for municipal building. He welcomes us in a friendly manner, and is very happy to hear our good news:  after we nagged  Physicians for Human Rights for a long time, we got a promise that a clinic would be opened in the town in May.


One of Qabalan’s main problems is the lack of adequate medical services.  The town has 10,000 residents and a local clinic that manages to provide services to residents only with difficulty, while 6,000 residents of neighboring villages also use it.  Last year we also arranged for a mobile clinic to visit but, according to what we were told by the organization, the municipality didn’t get organized appropriately and as a result many of the doctors wasted a lot of time.  The head of the municipality said the reason was very short notice – only half a day, which didn’t allow them to arrange things.  We will transmit to our contact the request for adequate advance notice; we’ll follow up and hope for the best.


The head of the municipality tells us what’s happened in the village since our last visit at the end of January this year:  as in other villages, settlers are no longer harassing townspeople.  The army is doing the job for them.  Soldiers enter the village by day and by night.  The residents don’t confront them.  But it’s enough for one child to throw a rock for the soldiers to flood the town with shock grenades and tear gas.


About a month ago soldiers arrested a deaf-mute man who worked in a bakery, claiming he’d attacked them with a knife.  That same night they blocked all the roads to the village and conducted a search.  His brother is also now under arrest.  The charge – he spoke on the phone with his fiancée and told her he intends to carry out an attack.  His denials didn’t help.  Now he’s in jail, awaiting trial.

On our previous visit we were told about demolition orders received by residents who built in Area C.  An attorney they hired submitted an appeal; the buildings are still standing, for now.


One of Qabalan’s most difficult problems is a serious water shortage.  Mekorot sends water two days out of ten (that is – only six days a month).  During these two days residents must store enough water for the remaining eight.  Qabalan receives a total of 13,000 cubic meters per month, one-third of what they need.

Electricity supply is a second problem.  The Israel Electric Company also makes life easy for itself and saves money at the expense of the residents:  instead of establishing a separate grid for each village it operates a single distribution station, in Qabalan, so the municipality becomes responsible for supplying electricity to Talfit, Jalloud and Jorish.  Now the electric company wants Qabalan to provide electricity to Yatma and Qariot, which have no electricity at all in their eastern portions, without increasing the amount it supplies.  The head of the municipality asked the electric company a month ago to increase the supply, but hasn’t yet received a reply.

The head of the municipality shares with us his fears about village children becoming involved in attacks: “The children are very angry at the army’s aggressive behavior,” he explains.  The parents oversee the children and he also goes to the schools to speak to the pupils and try to convince them not to get into trouble.  “I want to believe it helps,” he says.


11:30  On our way back. There’s less military presence at Tapuach junction than there was this morning.  Posters hanging at the compound and at the bus stops along Highway 5 announce “Passover opportunity:  Duplexes for sale in Revava.”  There’s no doubt residents of Revava will do well from their Passover opportunity:  duplexes built on land stolen from its owners.