Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Habla, Huwwara, Jit Junction

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קרול קוק וCarol Cook, Fathiya (reporting); Translator: Judith Greenפתחיה (מדווחת).

14:40   Habla.  As soon as we came to the shed, 2 soldiers approached us and asked us to leave the area because it was forbidden for us to stand there.  We argued with them and told them that this is Israeli ground and we are allowed to be there.  They said that these were the order which they received.  We said in that case we would contact the DCO;  then they gave in and said we could stand there as long as we did not take photos.

14:30  Jit Junction, the post is in operation.

14:45  Bureen  The post opposite the sachool is in operation.

When we got to the road to Yitzhar, we saw the areas that had been blackened by the fire.  We decided to go up almost to the entrance of the settlement of Yitzhar - all the way the fields were butnt with remains of burnt olive trees on both sides of the road.  Large areas, horrible.  There were places from which smoke was still rising.  We saw tractors diggning and 2 cement mixers and a truck nearby;  they are expanding the settlement.  We spoke with Doha and Munir and others who were there at the time of the fire.

The fire happened on Wednesday, 10.07, at 14:30, during a heat wave.  The settlers from Yitzhar burned tires and then rolled them into the olive groves.  The fire caught immediately and everything went up in flames.  In Bureen, there is a fire truck but they were not able to enter the road near the settlement.  People tried all kinds of things, using household hoses and sand, but it didn/t help..  Meanwhilel, the fire spread and began to go in the direction of Yitzhar.  Then planes arriveds and put out the fire next to the settlement,  went away and left the areas which did not endanger the settlement to burn.  Finally, the fire erased everything.  The owners of the groves stood by in tears and helpless.

16:00  Huwwara.  The checkpoint was empty but, when we returned from Beit Furik, it was manned.  In Beit Furik only the watch tower was manned.

17:00   Azzun.  A jeep and soldiers stood at the gate.