Jayyous II. Water rationing

I wake up when it is still dark and too early to receive any electricity,so there is no light in the room. The mother of the family has got up and dressed; she is praying in a whisper, standing up, next to her bed. When she finishes she opens the door and leaves. I also get up and put the blankets and the mattress in the corner where I think they came from.

Friendly settler with machine gun

Today we go to place that is much harder to reach. Besides, only four internationals remain with me in this village now, because there is some important demonstrations that needs to be supported somewhere else and they have all gone there. Of those four, two are finishing their stay in the country today and they are going back to their countries, and the rest need a rest. We are considering going back to Jerusalem, because in this flat we are asked not to have showers, because the water pipes are so bad. We have had soil stuck to our clothes and our clothes stuck to our skin for a few days now; it has been boiling hot every day and it seems like a good idea to go back to Jerusalem to have a good shower, a good rest and a good drink.

Olive picking III. Five years later

Today we go to a different place to pick up olives. We are joined in the taxi by a few journalists. Two of them happen to be doctors, and one of these speaks Arabic. When we arrive to a little village, a Palestinian gets on the taxi and gives instructions to the driver. The taxi driver sets off, goes around the village and then stops and asks us to get off.

Olive picking II. Oasis of peace

Today we come back to the place where we were yesterday. We learn that this family lives from the produce of their trees alone, they do not have any other source of income. We ask them about the price of the olive oil. Last year the price paid to the peasant per kilo was 10 NIS, (New Israeli Shekels), about US$2.20. Some farmers were better off just saving and using the oil, because with that price they would have lost money on the transaction. I guess that, like all raw materials producers, specially food, they are at the mercy of the fluctuations in the international markets. They can sell very little to Israel, we are told, because the Israeli state is blocking the entry of Palestinian products into Israel; it is also another way to squeeze them further. And, on top, there is the internal political situation.

Olive picking I

Today we go to help out with the olive harvest. The whole family, probably the whole city, will bury yesterday’s body, but if we go to the funeral instead of helping out in the fields, some other family will not be able to harvest their olives.


We get up soon and, after packing quickly, we set off to a city where help is needed to pick up olives. I learn the hard way that packing in a hurry is definitely a very, very bad thing. You forget necessary things.