Maoz Zvi settlers: expelled Palestinians in the middle of the harvest

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Tami R. and Ruthie T., Reporting Marcia L., Translation

15:00 – 15:30 – Anin Checkpoint

We hadn’t yet read Neta’s report and since we passed by the place anyway, we entered to see if maybe the checkpoint was open for the start of the olive harvest.  A male and female soldier from the Homefront Command guarded the area since the day before yesterday.  They say the checkpoint is not open at all this week because of the serious (security) situation.  Next to the checkpoint, in the Seamline Zone, a deserted tractor was parked and a few steps from there, a pile of garbage that we have already reported on. Our hope is that despite this, the checkpoint will open at the time appointed for the olive harvest.

15:50 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

A group of men wait for their brother, who has been stuck at the checkpoint for more than an hour.  He is delayed every time by some police who prohibit him (from passing through), but usually, he is released.  The brothers say, “It depends on the soldier’s culture.” In the end, they despaired and requested that if he arrives, to please bring him to Umm Reihan. “We stayed there 20 minutes, and the brother was still not released.  A female soldier demanded that we stay away from the gate.  Relative to this checkpoint, the traffic was lively in both directions.

On the way to Barta’a Checkpoint, we detoured in the direction of the industrial zone that is situated next to the settlement of Reihan.  At the edge of the area, opposite breathtaking scenery, a lone settler lives in Nofe Reihan Farm (Scenic Reihan Farm).   It is difficult to know if he lives there permanently because the area seems neglected. Ragged Israeli flags wave in the wind, but the certified authorities provide water and electricity.

16:40 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint

We pass by the checkpoint.  Many workers walk down the sleeveinfo-icon (the enclosed, roofed passage to the terminal).  We follow the development of the closed parking lots at the foot of the village of Zabde.

16:50 – Ya’bed-Dotan Checkpoint

There is lively traffic of transportation vehicles returning workers from the checkpoint to the West Bank.  The pillbox is staffed.  An army vehicle stops next to us.  Two officers—one of them from Mevo Dotan—felt like arguing with two women (us) “who (in their words) hate their nation.” We politely refused because it was a waste of time.

On our return, we stopped opposite the road that goes up to Maoz Zvi settlement to meet Anwar, who returned from work in Haifa.  He impressed us with his statement, “The settlers behave hard, hard, hard, and at 4 o’clock they throw us out of the area.”

On Friday (the day after our observation) Anwar went up with three workers to the area of the olive harvest, which, according to him, belongs to his family and is registered in tabu.  At 15:45, a soldier and an officer arrived with two settlers from Maoz Zvi (he recognized their faces but did not know their names) and threatening them, threw them out.  Two young boys who worked with Anwar ran away in fear and he had to leave 20 sacks filled with olives in the area. It was very nice of the settlers to permit Anwar to take his personal bag with his identity card and his telephone. This morning, Shabbat, Anwar discovered that all his sacks of olives disappeared, as expected.  Since last night others have been involved in the story and have tried to help, at least with good advice, and today we achieved a promise from the police from Mevo Dotan, that after Shabbat, he will begin to clarify (what happened) . . .