Kabalan - “All governments of Israel are the same"

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Nathalie, Aliyah, Rachel; Driver: Mustafa

Kabalan:  We spoke with the Mayor of the village Council. He told us he was the mayor from 1997 to 2006. Then he was a member of the Palestinian Parliament. Now he is again the Mayor of Kabalan.

There are approximately 10,000 people living in Kabalan.

We asked his opinion of Israel’s new government.  “All governments of Israel are the same. Palestinians are forbidden to leave the country and come back.”  He was invited to Istanbul but wasn’t allowed to leave. He wanted to go to Mecca, but the IDF didn’t let him pass. “All Israeli governments are just waiting for the Palestinians to disappear. Life is not easy for the Palestinians. This government is not so different from any other Israeli government. Who are the terrorists?  That’s a joke.”

Water: Last month the Palestinian Authority talked to Mekorot, the Israeli Water Authority.  Mekorot takes the water that is in the aquifer in the West Bank and the water goes to the settlements.  The quota for Palestinians was doubled, but they are still in need. A Palestinian gets 70 liters of water per day. A settler gets 150 liters of water per day.  A farmer in the settlement, Eli, gets three times as much water as a farmer in Kabalan gets.

Problems with Settlers: “Yes, the settlers make problems.”  Settlers recently threw stones at a car from the village and injured the driver.

Health: The situation is almost good.  There are 2 health centers in the village, and there are doctors every day.  During the Coronavirus there was a lot of cooperation among the people, so the situation was not too difficult.

Awarta:   We spoke with the head of the Municipal Council. He was a very busy man. People came in and out of the office all the time we were there.  Some came in to see who we were.  He also got phone calls.

Two of the men who came to the room were an engineer and a lawyer.  They are working on arrangements of the plots of land belonging to villagers that are near Homesh. We did not get any more information on this point.

A woman also came into the room and was very interested to know who we were.  He told us she is a member of the Council.  She is also the inspector of 57 Councils under the Palestinian Authority.  She was very interested in us and wants us to come to visit with her.  It might be very interesting to get a woman’s point of view.

Problems with Israeli settlers:   The settlement Itamar took 13,000 dunams of land belonging to farmers in Awarta and Yanun.

Settlers had not come into the village for the previous 3 months. Before that, settlers came every morning between 3:00 and 4:00. They walked around the village and broke car windows. They are still coming to other villages.

During the olive harvest, there was a lot of trouble with settlers from Evyatar.  They threw tear gas at the harvesters and destroyed olive trees. The Council Head took pictures of the destruction on his phone and went to the Civil Administration to file a complaint. He has heard nothing from them. “During the olive harvest it’s like a war,” he said.