Palestinians arrested for "illegal" passage over a mound of dirt and other excuses to prevent them from plowing the field

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Rachel (report, film), Miky, Hadas. Yair Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

We were part of a group guarding Palestinians from Tamun who were plowing and planting a large piece of land that belonged to them.  The land is located  south of the valleys on the east side of the Alon Route 578.  On the west side of the road there is a strip of land and west of that is a high dirt embankment that was built by the army to prevent Palestinians from crossing.


Palestinians who live on the west side of the road evidently cross on foot when they have to.  During today’s incident their crossing served as an excuse to accuse the person who crossed.  He was evicted after being harassed.

The morning began when a group of soldiers arrived , stopped the two tractors from working, and sat the two Palestinians on the ground.  The commander, who was a major, commanded us five times (he counted himself) to leave.   We remained, and he then began a series of phone calls to ask his commanders what they had been arrested for.   This was after the owner of the land had shown him a permit to plow that was valid for that day.

After a lengthy clarification the soldiers left without a word to the Palestinians who had been punished for no reason.    We had asked constantly: “Why are you carrying out punishment without clarifying things first?”

Meanwhile a young settler was grazing his herd of cows on land that belonged to the Palestinian without being disturbed.   

The soldiers were reservists who felt that disturbing people at work was their problem.  They were only following orders.

It was clear to us and to the Palestinians that if we had not been there the day of plowing would have ended differently.   In addition to this incident, or perhaps beforehand, the soldiers stopped two tractors several kilometers further north on the road, took the keys and their ID cards,, and sat the drivers down and kept them there for several hours.   This was punishment for driving along a road that was forbidden or over the embankment.

The two tractor drivers were supposed to have come to help plow the land where we were. They called to notify us about the delay.  Mickey and I left for Um Zuka,  the army base at the top of the hill overlooking the entire area.   The guard at the gate was not willing or able to clarify why the drivers had been arrested.  We waited for five minutes until someone arrived who claimed that he was the base commander.  He listened to us and went to find out what the reason was.  He returned and said that they had been detained for driving over the dirt embankment.   They would be released in a half an hour.  He explained that since the beginning of the war there is a new map for  the shepherds, and they are not allowed to cross the Alon Route 578 from west to east and perhaps in the opposite direction as well.   When we asked if they knew about the change he answered that of course they did.  Is this change legal?  He doesn’t know.  He is only following orders.

The reservist who lived in the settlement was very pleasant but asked not to be photographed because he had suffered because of the article written by Gideon Levy.  We expressed sorrow over what they were doing.


We went down to have a cup of tea at Samra’s tent.  Soon the new semester will begin and we need to begin donations for students    It is currently difficult to mobilize donations for anything connected to the Palestinians.

We returned to escort the drivers who were plowing.  A machine arrived that distributes the seeds more quickly than people can distribute them by hand in the traditional way.

We parted with them in a friendly way at the end of the day..

נפרדנו מהם בסוף היום בידידות גדולה.

יש סרטונים פייסבוק בשידור ישיר שעשיתי אבל לא נראה לי שאפשר להוריד לכאן. חלקם הגדול ארוך ולא מעניין, אולי דקה אחת שווה פרסום.