Habla, Burin - Dozens of trees had been burned

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Fathiya A., Ziyona S. (reporting), Muhammad (driving) Translator: Charles K.
הצתה בבורין ערב יום כיפור

Habla – People wait an hour at the gate that remains closed during the entire time it was scheduled to open, and opens for only 15 minutes one hour after the time it was supposed to close.

Burin – The arson attacks on the olive groves, originating from Har Beracha or Yitzhar, which have occurred daily since the harvest began, continued also on the eve of Yom Kippur and on Yom Kippur itself.

Habla agricultural gate (1393)

13:45  The gate was to open from 13:15 – 14:15.  When we arrived it was closed.  Those returning from work broiled in the sun, without knowing whether or not it would open.  They tell us some had waited a long time, gave up and returned whence they came, intending to return only at 17:15, hoping it would then open.  A long line of waiting vehicles had also formed on the exit side.  Two female soldiers arrive at the gate, but they say they’re not MP’s and they have no idea why the gate hadn’t opened.  Petahya telephones the DCL and is told they’re forbidden to speak to the organizations but they’ll check it out.  At 13:50 we telephone again.  The reply – there’s been an incident, that’s the reason for the delay.  It’s already 14:15 (the time to close the gate), but there’s still no sign of the MP’s.  The female soldiers on site have nothing to do but they don’t have the key, as they told us.  Some of those waiting already left.  We telephone a third time.

14:25.  The MP’s finally arrived and opened the gate, ten minutes after it was scheduled to close.  The few people who’d remained waiting, entered.  Someone calls his friends to report the gate had been opened and some people hurry back.  Meanwhile dozens of vehicles wait on the Habla side; they are finally inspected and go through.

We leave.

15:50  The emplacement opposite Jish is manned, but there’s no roadblock.

16:00  Huwwara checkpoint – traffic flows.

Arson in Burin’s olive groves

On our way to Burin we met our friend Doha with two international volunteers who are staying in Burin for a few days.  She left them and continued with us to the olive grove where dozens of trees had been set on fire Yom Kippur eve (8.10.19).  The Palestinians say they saw a vehicle stopping next to the grove, a man got out and returned quickly to the vehicle, and immediately afterwards flames erupted along the road opposite Yizhar.  We walked up to see the area.  Dozens of trees had been burned.  Doha said that Burin’s fire truck hadn’t been allowed to reach the area; the residents were forced to extinguish the flames as best they could which was why dozens of trees were burned.  There’s an army base nearby, but it didn’t participate in the effort to extinguish the fire.

A fire also broke out on Yom Kippur itself, but since the area is distant from Yizhar the local firefighters were able to reach it; only a small number of trees were burned.

Munir took the photos at the time of the fire on Yom Kippur eve, 8.10.19.  As you can see, the entire area is filled with charred trees.  It will take years to rehabilitate them, if that’s even possible.  Dozens of trees have already burned, the flames continue, the residents trying to extinguish them.