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This mural was photoed near the other one. It feels less coherent. I was filmed from right to left.  I think the first frame may have been done independently of the rest,

Murals are one of the things I like in cities like San Francisco.

Mural in Qalandia

Thes photos move along the wall from left to right.  I dont know if they are oone work or a collection, if they wee done at one time or over time. The art work is very good and the feeling strong

There was a big truck parked in front of the next ones so they are not photoed well


23 Nov 2014 house occupation

About 7:45PM we received a call the occupation soldiers had occupied a balcony against the wishes of the owner. As we approached three of them came down stair to meet us and told us we had no business there. The owner of the property told them we were his friends. So we walked up behind the soldiers.

At the top of the stairs we found that there were 7 soldiers in an unfinished part of the house. They told us they had permission to be there. The family that lives there told us that they had in the past seen the soldiers coming and blocked their way. But this time the soldiers made it in the common door. There are 10 people including 3 children that live in the house. They said not only was it scary having the soldier force their way in, but they were talking loudly and saying bad words when there were children there.

We stationed ourself between the door the room the soldiers were using and the door to the rest of the house. They told us that there was a military line at the door we could not cross. We sat down in the hall, the owners brought out chairs for us to sit there. Some of us deliberately sat blocking the doorway with our backs to the soldiers. We talked about Danish cooking. At every step we checked with the land owners to be sure we were doing what they wanted. After about 10 minutes the soldiers decided to leave. The land owners then invited us into the other part of their house and served us tea with many thanks.

the house

the back stairs they entered without permission

the hall we squoze into, 6 internatioals, 6 residents, 6 soldiers


23 Nov rumers of gun fire

A few fireworks went off afternoon on 23 Nov in Huwarra. A little while later all kinds of occupation forces and vehicles showed up.  Apparently a settler had reported he heard gun fire, or was shot at, as they passed through Huwarra.  Of course the opinion of a passing settler is taken over the opinion of a dozen Palestinians who were present to see the burst of the fireworks.

We stood where we could watch what was happening and be seen watching, to witness.  The occupying forces had congregated around one house, apparently they wanting to talk to the owner who wasn't there (and probably wasn't there when the fireworks wee set off).  

A 6 occupation soldiers walked north away from the general group to a place where the road is even with a shop roof and took up a position there watching both roads.  The shop owner may or may not consent, but this is a roof they can get on to without forcing entrance past a family.

From here the stopped a young male Palestinian asked for identification and questioned him. They let a couple of cars and a woman go by with out stopping them.

We took some pictures and notes. There was a man in a light blue civilian shirt wearing a new olive drab bullet proof vest mixing and talking with the occupation soldiers.  This looked to us like a settler. We took a picture which would have included the settler. Then three occupation soldiers came after us and demanded that the photo be deleted. Even after it was deleted he demanded to see the camera – standing right against the young international woman with the camera and cocked his weapon in a very threatening way (as if cocking a weapon is ever not threatening). Then another occupying soldier snatched the camera from her hand. As they walked away with the camera with us following, one of the soldiers said, you will get it back.  To improve the odds of getting it back I followed along and to push the envelope in walked among the soldiers to the person they handed the camera to.  He was wearing a uniform and a skullcap, but it was not standard issue uniform and it had no rank or unit identity on it, so I assumed he was a settler too. Palestinians thought both people I thought were settlers might be part of the intelligence unit. He demanded what I was doing and I said they had told us we would get the young lady's camera back so I was just saving someone from having to carry it back.  He made some comment like he would smash the camera if he wanted to.  After looking through the pictures on the camera he returned it. To our surprise he had not deleted all the pictures he had not even deleted the pictures of the other soldiers. 

white jeep is intellegence

occupation soldiers stop a Palestininan man

three occupation soldiers can be seen standing on a shop roof over looking the main street in Huwarra, right in front of the biggest mosque


21 Nov occupying soldiers occupy another house


About 6AM 3 soldiers forcibly entered a house over looking Rt 60 in Huwarra.
The house has 5 little children in it. We arrived about 8 AM to see the soldiers drive away. With out a good interpreter it was hard to find the details, but in other occupations we have been told the occupying soldiers are loud, abusive and distruptive even after they have forcably entered the house and taken up a position.
occupied house


visit to site of earlier occupation

We visited the site where there had been a reported house occupation on 20 November, the night we went to the wrong house. This was way high at about the highest part of the town of Huwarra. It was a beautiful night view. Being late we had trouble to many the home owners. There is a coffee shop at the end of the road and the soldiers had forcibly taken a position on top of it. This position not only over looked the town but also overlooked where the customers were trying to watch the football game on TV. Apparently the soldiers were loud and abusive to the customers and pushed some of them around.
view of coffee shop and platform soldiers occupied

the occupying soldiers view of where men were enjoying watching a foot ball game
It is worth noting that if what the occupying soldiers wanted was a commnding view of the valley, they could have gotten a better one by going up the settlement/
one of the houses that may have been occupied

road to coffee shop

now that is a stair case

The occupying soldiers also stopped and searched every car that drove up to the.

The visit gave an opportunity to talk with young people who are active. These are people who wear a keffiyehs knowing they will be stopped and searched every time they meet an occupying soldier. Yet even these people say 1st they want Israel out of Palestine, but really they just want to get out, everyone wants to get out. They acknowledge that this is what Israel wants and say that Israel has made them hate their own home land.
view on a overcast day looking north

view on a overcast day looking east

view on an overcast day looking south

our vigil at the wrong house

20 Nov

While we were in Ramalla we received call that the occupying army had invaded a house a second time. We decided to change our plans and taxi back to Huwarra to visit the occupied house. We returned to the house that was occupied last night, this time with chairs. We setup under the street light planning to tell everyone of the occupying soldiers secret hangout and to wait until they left.

A neighbor joined us and then went back to get us tea for under the street light. We rather liked the specter we were presenting the soldiers with – 4 international having tea in the street as they revealed the soldiers secret observation point. The neighbor returned with tea and news that there were no soldiers in this house. We had the tea anyway and figured out that we had confused the messages and this night they had occupied a house across town.


purcussion grenasdes to close Huwarra

19 Nov 2014

closing Huwarra, putting it under curfew.

5:45 PM occupation soldiers walked down Rt 60, the main street, and told shops to close. Nothing unusual was visible on Rt 60 at that time.

A shop owner had just received a delivery which was piled high on his front step. The soldier told him he had 10 minutes to shutter his shop. Immediately following that some other soldiers walked up and started shoving the shop owner (who is a US citizen) around and sticking a rifle in his stomach. The shop owner said he would call the DCO. The soldier said he did not care and threw 2 stun grenades, one on the porch and one into the shop. The grenades cracked the tile floor and damaged some merchandise.

6:04 (15 minutes after the soldiers cleared the street) we received a message that settlers were throwing rocks at PA cars on Rt 60 in Huwarra as typical excuse for putting the Palestinians in the city under curfew.
two views of the smoke stains from the inside grenade damaged merchandise has been moved

grenade marks on darkend porch

shuttered shops 8 shops doors should be open with their lights on


18 Nov 2014 attack of Urif

18 Nov 14 Urif

Settlers attack a secondary boys school in Urif again. The Army arrives and tear gases the Urif residents.

The 300 students of Urif Secondary School went to school Tues morning expecting a day of studying. Unknown to the students or the teachers a group of 30-40 armed settlers had set out from Yizhar settlement to cover the 6-7 km with the intent of attacking the school.
School yard, school and Yizhar behind
About 10AM the settlers, having left their cars out of sight, entered the gate of the school yard armed with axes, swords and at least one had a firearm (apparently 8-10 soldiers accompanied them). But what alarmed the teachers most was that some settlers carried Molotov cocktails. Fearing that the school would be set a fire they evacuated the students. The settlers started throwing stones at the exposed students. At least 4 students were taken to the hospital by ambulance, one with a face and nose injury and another with a lower leg injury. As word spread the residents of Urif ran up to the school to protect their children.
School yard gate - now it is closed

About 11AM 8-10 occupying army jeeps (with one white one in the middle of the convoy) came up through the center of town to the school. They moved between the settlers and residents and fired tear gas and stun grenades at the residents of Urif. A reporter who was among the occupying army heard the boarder police tell the army that he wanted them to blanket the whole village in tear gas, he said he wanted tear gas in every house.
sooty wall where trash bin was set afire and dumped

After settlers and residents have left soldier aim teargas into the village

Resident recycles some of the spent tear gas cases
 As tear gas filtered through the homes in Urif residents talked about the living near Yizhar. There have been repeated attacks, usually targeting the houses highest up the hill and the school which is also high. Previous attacks on the school have been on Thursdays or Fridays when students were not in the school and the attacks were focused on doing physical damage to the school building. Attacking the children is a dangerous escalation.
A street leading to the school

Urif has been attacked over 100 times by settlers from Yizhar. Four or five weeks ago they attacked in the village rahter than the school sending 3 or 4 to the hospital. The village built a wall to help protect one exposed house which has been attacked over 15 times. But the village attributes 17 miscarriages directly to army tear gas attacks. Some attacks have been to steal live stock; horses, goats and, sheep have all been stolen. One time while the settlers were stealing sheep they broke the hand of the owner and his son. Three years ago settlers attacked the new mosque which was not complete but was being used for prayers and burned the rugs and door. Six years ago an 18 year old boy was kidnapped while picking olives and taken up to the settlement where he was killed in an animal shed.

The residents say the Yizhar settlement was started in 1983 on land stolen from Urif residents. It was land the family we talked to grew wheat and animal fodder on. The residents say the early residents of Yizhar were criminals and murders who had been released from Israeli jails to start Yizeh.

Like many other villages near settlements, many of the olive orchards cant be plowed, fertilized, pruned or picked with out a permit from the occupying army. This year they were allowed 2 days to pick the olives which it takes 10 days to pick. But when they got to the olive trees they found there were no olives on the trees.