Visit to Beit Furik, Khibet Tana and Burin

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Nathalie, Rachel, Aliyah (report), Driver: Mustafa
Jewish Terror

Beit Furik:  Our first stop was in Beit Furik where we met the Administrative Manager.  There are 15,000 people living in Beit Furik. It’s the largest village in the Nablus area.

Water:  In the past there was not enough water for all of the needs of all of the people. They have received a supplement, and now there is enough.

Electricity:  For 25 years they have been receiving electricity from Israel. Usually it is enough, but sometimes it is cut off for about an hour.

Health:  There is one clinic in the village that is run by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, so their health care is paid for them. But there is only one doctor. For more health care they go to the hospital in Nablus, but there they have to pay for the care. 

Education:  There are 4000 students in Beit Furik with 9 public schools and 1 private school. The village needs another 2 schools. In the private elementary school boys and girls study together. The public schools separate the sexes. All the teachers are registered with the Ministry of Finance, and get their salary from them. During the Coronavirus all projects in the village were frozen. It was a difficult 2 years. The schools were closed, but not all the children, or even the older students, have computers. Studying from home was very limited.

Problems with Israeli settlers or with the IDF:  Our host told us that at present there were no big problems with either settlers or the army. He said that the area is usually quiet. When something happens in the area the army sets up a temporary checkpoint.

Khibet Tana: Outside of Beit Furik, but closely related to it, in the lovely valley east of Nablus, is a small farming community, Khibet Tana. They live in caves on the hillside. We did not visit the community because it is a very difficult walk up the hillside to get there. But on the opposite side of the valley is a path for vehicles. On a previous visit we went to the small school building on the hillside opposite the caves.  The school has 2 rooms. One room is for small children aged 3 to 6. The second room is for first, second and third grades all together. After that the children go to school in Beit Furik. During the summer the children come to the facilities in Beit Furik. We promised to come back for a visit and bring donated toys and games for the small school.

Burin: Our second stop was in the village of Burin where we had been invited to the home of Docha. She was in a new home which was better than her old house.  She brought out a tray of small, sweet figs that came from the garden of her old house. The surroundings of her new house are still undeveloped.

     Our hostess told us that she has been invited to an international meeting in Oxford, England. The subject is SLO-FOOD. We did not get an explanation on this subject, but we wished her a safe and interesting journey. Her husband is a teacher in Jamain, so he will not be going with her on her trip.

Water:  In the area of Burin there is a natural spring that had always been their source of water. The Israeli settlers in Yitzhar came and put a pump on the spring and take the water for themselves. Now water is a problem in Burin.

Health:    There is a clinic in the village that is open in the mornings until 12:00. The doctor is not always there. For more serious medical treatment they go to Nablus.

     During the Coronavirus everything was closed down at first. But no one got sick so they didn’t stay at home. They went to weddings and other gatherings without masks.  Our hostess didn’t want to be vaccinated, but in order to go abroad, she had to have one shot. The vaccines came from Israel and they were a little out of date. But they were being given anyway so that the Palestinians wouldn’t make the Israelis sick.

Economy:   All their fruits and vegetables they grow in the yards around their homes. Meat is also home-grown. But, our hostess said, “Just the sea is missing, so there is no fish.”

Israeli settlers: The settlers from several settlements give the people of Burin lots of problems; most especially from Yitzhar. One settler, a man named Kobi, has set up a tent on Burin’s land, and he makes trouble for the farmers.  At one time a school building was destroyed, but it has been rebuilt. Another time the mosque was damaged and it has been repaired.

Olive harvest:   Our hostess can see her olive grove through a window in her house. She can also see the settlers in her grove cutting some of the trees. She can harvest what is left for her. There are university students who volunteer to help with the harvest since the army gives the Palestinians only a few days to do the work. But she has to get a permit from the army for this “visit.”

    Last year our hostess was in her olive grove when a young settler from Yitzhar appeared with his car. He has a gun in his car and he was telling her what she could and couldn’t do. He had his telephone open so she couldn’t surprise him. He was following her around with his phone camerainfo-icon and photographing her all the time. And that was in her olive grove in her village.

    We wished her goodbye and a safe and pleasant journey. She insisted that we take the figs that we hadn’t eaten with us. So we had a sweet reminder of Burin when we got home.