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Facts on the ground

 I am filming Angela Godfrey-Goldstein while she is explaining.


Metal Detector

A while ago I wrote that I would follow up one of my videos about the metal detector at the agricultural gate for people separated from their land by the Israeli barrier. The problem with the metal detector is that it is much more time consuming to get through when it is applied. We have registered 2 hours waiting time from the opening time to all the people are trough people can walk back and bring tractors and donkeys over.

The follow up video shows a slightly different scenario. We had been told that the soldiers had applied the metal detector for the people returning back during the lunch opening hour between 1130 and 1230 the last two days. I went to take a look and here is some of what I saw:

The reason? Most likely the soldiers want to enjoy the AC in the metal detector building rather than stand outside in the sun. If this issue is addressed the magic word of “security” (for the soldiers) will approach the surface quickly and end the discussion according to the farmers. On Monday however, the farmers had a small spontaneous strike/demonstration where they managed to convince the soldiers that tractors and donkeys should be let through as soon as their owners are through the detector. The video shows the implementation of it.

Magic in Yanoun

I did write that I was involved in a car crash on my way back from a place called Yanoun, and the visit in the refugee camp in Nablus was also during this trip. However I didn’t tell what I actually did in Yanoun.

Yanoun is a small place the inhabitants left a few years ago because they couldn’t stand the harassment from the settlements and outposts in the neighborhood. They agreed to return only with a constant international presence in the village and declared one of the houses to be the “international house”. That is the background for the EAPPI’s role at the place.

When I was there I had the pleasure of watching Ghassan from “The children team” doing magic for the kids. Some of the tricks are in the video below:

We didn’t come early enough to watch the puppet show they had before the magic. We were busy in a meeting with Doctors without borders. They came to draft the need for psychiatric treatment among the people living in Yanoun.

The day before we met a boy called Yosef in the hospital in Nablus. He was burned on the upper part of his body after some phosphorous blow up in front of him while he was out with the sheep. It is not only settlers and outposts surrounding Yanoun. Also a restricted military area occupies the land. No signs show its boarders and anyway: The people need to bring their sheep somewhere and they would most likely do it even with signs. We addressed that a friend of Yosef watched the incident and might suffer from trauma.

Beside that it was a lot of walking during my days in Yanoun. I also developed my donkey riding skills further. All in all I had good days there with good food and enough sleep.

War 2, Nablus

I mentioned that it appeared to be more than normal military traffic in and out of Nablus last week. The people there are used to military activities more or less daily and especially in the night, but it was more than usual the last week. In our program we don’t approach the refugee camps while the military is there. However, today, a few days after it has calmed down a bit, we found our way to get an impression of what has gone on there. See video:

Someone else was braver and recorded some of it when it actually happened. After 27 of 64 seconds, or the freeze picture before the start, in the video below a glimpse of the demolition in the video above is shown.

Then compare the machine with that one shown under the heading “War” below and I have the pleasure of stating: “I was right” (“You don’t want this one in your garden”. A check of the dates shows that the machine shown under “War” was on its way to someone else)


This morning we were at a different agricultural gate than those we have seen before. I am not an expert in farming, but something tells me that the opening hours might be a little strict here:

The atmosphere and some information on Zeita agricultural gate

Football in Bethlehem

On Thursday I was in Bethlehem. There I met Mannar, Johnny and their kids. They hosted me the first time I was in Palestine. They are member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Every year the church arranges a football tournament for the members. The teams are out together after the following rules:

  • Only family members
  • Only players over 23
  • Only players that do not play in football clubs

Below is a video from Tawil family’s first match in 2007.

Police dance Ramallah

Yesterday we met an amazing police man in Ramallah. He is doing things his own way with nice moves. Note how carefully he accompanies the old man over the street.

Small research on the web shows that he is already famous and some Germans here tell that he has been on TV there. Anyway, fantastic.

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